Few can say that the recent cases of sexual assaults and rape, that have occurred in India, have left them unscathed. While it is important for the citizens of this country to push for justice and see the offenders punished by law, it is vital to understand that these incidents can have a profound psychological impact on the survivor and their family. It is, therefore, crucial to provide them with adequate support to deal with the aftermath of violence and abuse.
Understanding Trauma and Abuse
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), traumatic events include physical, psychological and sexual abuse, among others. For the purpose of this article, we will be focussing on the trauma caused by violence perpetrated against women. In 2015, 3,27,394 women registered cases under the banner of “Crime Against Women”, which includes only the crimes which are directed specifically against women, such as rape, attempted rape, “assault on woman with intent to outrage her modesty”, “cruelty by husband or his family”, sexual harassment, dowry deaths and other traumatic events. As a number of these events are inflicted by people known to the survivor, it is reasonable to assume that a large percentage of traumatic incidents go unreported. This implies that the actual number of such events is considerably higher.