Telecounseling Manual of SNEHA (Society for Nutrition, Education and Health Action): for Prevention of Violence against Women and Children

SNEHA’s program on Prevention of Violence against Women and Children works towards ending discrimination against women and girls in public and private spaces and ensures participation and leadership of women to prevent violence in their communities. Violence against women is: “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.”

Using a socio-ecological model as a framework for action at an individual, interpersonal, organizational and societal level, the program tackles the interplay of various factors through primary, secondary and tertiary interventions. Primary prevention activities are carried out through campaigns and group education with women’s and men’s groups, leading to individual voluntarism to identify, respond to and refer cases of violence against women and children. Secondary prevention is offered through delivery of comprehensive services. The services offered are counselling, crisis intervention and facilitating coordination with public health providers. the police and legal aid, home visits to engage perpetrators and other family members supporting abuse, and mental health counselling to minimise the impact of violence. Tertiary interventions include extended counselling and mental health interventions such as individual counselling and psycho-education, role education with perpetrators, couple and family counselling, and legal intervention for survivors with the aim of empowering them to make their own decisions and take control of their situation.

The telecounseling manual of SNEHA describes their telephone counselling and crisis intervention services that were strengthened in times of COVID-19 on account of forced shutdown of the counselling centres in the lockdown period.

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