What we do

Prevention

Adults have a unique position in protecting children from sexual abuse. Given the fact that most abusers are individuals known and trusted by children, it becomes the duty of caregivers to learn about typical situations and signs that indicate abuse. When every adult will proactively seek to keep children safe, child sexual abuse will begin to diminish.

Our prevention programs include the following:

Awareness workshops in educational institutions

We work with educational institutions to minimise the risk of CSA. We train parents, teachers and administrative staff to understand, acknowledge, identify and respond to CSA. We work with children on personal safety education. We provide support and consultation for school counsellors in handling cases of sexual abuse. We work with institutions to set up systems to respond to CSA cases and institutionalise a child protection lens through active policies and committees. As a policy, we first work with adults around a child before educating children on personal safety.
We also conduct an ongoing training process for the school counsellors. Schools/colleges are encouraged to form a support group with our help which can internally handle any reported case using a multidisciplinary approach.
We have reached thousands of people through hundreds of trainings, mostly in Maharashtra thus far.

To organise a training in Mumbai fill the form here

Corporate Workshops

With a growing social conscience, many corporate houses are willing to open up space for discussions that impact holistic wellbeing of employees. Prevention of child sexual abuse is a crucial conversation that engages and encourages employees to assume a stake in learning the facts and signs in order to keep children around them safe.
In addition, many adults may have unresolved memories of child sexual abuse. We work on short and long term basis to help improve the overall mental health within organisation, as well as instil a culture of positive and healthy sexuality.
To organise a training in Mumbai fill the form here

Community level workshops

We train stakeholders in community settings like hospitals, clubs, housing societies and other NGOs to learn preventive methods and respond to child sexual abuse.

Focused Group workshops

We organise capacity building workshops for community workers and mental health professionals, as well as para professionals several times a year. These workshops are for a minimum of 4 hours and provide hands on training on different and important aspects of CSA, using several methods like role plays, case studies and practise sessions.
Field experts from across the world have conducted such trainings in the past. If you are a professional and wish to be informed about such trainings, contact us.

Training of Trainers (ToT)

We train passionate and carefully selected professionals to become trainers. As trainers they conduct CSA awareness workshops for other adult groups. Through both, a carefully designed selection process & workshop module that responds to unique challenges, ToT amplifies the multiplier effect on awareness and prevention.
As participants, trainers are mandated to conduct at least ten trainings in communities and groups of their choice. These are closely monitored by HEAL. Once convinced of the quality of facilitation, trainers are certified and can continue training independently as well as for HEAL.

Public awareness events

In addition to workshops, we organise movie screenings, talks by eminent field experts, street plays at market places, poster exhibitions at railway stations among others, to create awareness about CSA within communities.

Response

Child sexual abuse (CSA) can be a highly traumatizing experience. Survivors commonly experience a range of short-term and long-term mental health symptoms pervading all areas of life. It affects their perceptions and feelings about self, others and the world around them. The impact of child sexual abuse can be lifelong if not treated or healed.

At HEAL, we understand the unique psychotherapeutic needs of CSA survivors and keep abreast with best practices by attending training, workshops and conferences. As part of our efforts to ease the impact of social and self-discrimination faced by survivors of child sexual abuse, HEAL has created a program to provide therapeutic and psychosocial support to survivors of child sexual abuse and also their caretakers. We also work towards sensitising other therapists in using a trauma-focused approach while providing quality services to CSA survivors.

Disclosing childhood sexual abuse requires immense courage. We ensure that every case is handled with utmost confidentiality, sensitivity and skill. We constantly strive to share our learnings with other mental health practitioners in the city as well.

In-house counselling:

We provide one-on-one individual counselling sessions to child and adult survivors of child sexual abuse. HEAL is mindful of the fact that survivors don’t exist in isolation. The impact of the social environment that they exist in is strong. Therefore, we also work towards making client’s social environment favourable for healing. We work towards helping survivors in their journey of reducing distress and being resilient by providing a non-judgmental and safe space. We also have a panel of therapist across the city whom we refer our clients on the basis of location and needs of the case.

Capacity building workshops for professionals:

We organise workshops for mental health professionals and social workers from time to time. These workshops focus on providing hands-on training to the professionals in working with survivors of child sexual violence in a sensitive and trauma-informed manner. These trainings range from 1 day to 3 days. External resource people are also invited to conduct such trainings from time to time.

If you wish to know about our future trainings, subscribe to our mailing list here.

Advocacy

Public and policy advocacy is indispensable to HEAL’s work against child sexual abuse.
HEAL under The Foundation was a part of lobbying for POCSO act. The team was actively involved in the consultation process to draft the bill that grew into POCSO, which received the assent of the president on 19th June, 2012.Our founder, Rahul Bose represented our collective opinion over the need for a specialised, child-sensitive law to deal with cases of CSA on many relevant platforms.

Presently, HEAL is active on several working groups and National coalitions on reviewing elements of POCSO, as well as making mental health services in CSA cases easily accessible.

Rahul Bose as a panelist on Big Fight

Rahul Bose as a panelist on Big Fight

ASCCSA

Annual Stakeholders’ Conference on Child Sexual Abuse (ASCCSA) was first organised by HEAL under The Foundation in 2014. The first conference of its kind in India on child sexual abuse, ASCCSA opened a platform for professionals, organisations and civil society groups working against CSA to come together to share, learn, work, and build on the earlier work of the experts. With an aim to maximize collective strengths, minimize weaknesses and plug-in the necessary gaps, ASCCSA 2014 & 2015 have both seen an impressive line-up of various stakeholders presenting their work and experience on CSA. The conference continues to enable formation of formal networks and informal relationships.

The idea behind the conference germinates from the need to provide stakeholders with opportunities to:

  • look at the methodology of each NGO/professional working against CSA with rigour and depth.
  • learn from different stakeholders and come up with a set of best practices.
  • draw up a blueprint for CSA organizations for the future.

 

ASCCSA 2017

The 3rd edition of ASCCSA was hosted on May 5th & 6th, 2017 at Y. B. Chavan Centre, Mumbai. The conference was preceded by two days of workshops, on May 3rd & 4th, 2017 at YMCA,Mumbai Central. 

With over 11 speakers and 4 panels, the conference brought together stakeholders to collectively review methods, exchange best practices and draw blueprints. The conference was attended by over 150 people, comprising of organisations working in child protection - Indian & global, civil society institutions focused on child protection, Mental health professionals, Social workers, School principals and teachers, Lawyers, Medical professionals, other stakeholders of child sexual violence.

The conference was preceded by two days of four workshops designed to build capacity of professionals. The workshops were:

  • Paving the path to healing: responding sensitively to child survivors of sexual abuse by Dr. Amit Sen
  • Disability, Sexuality & Sexual Abuse: A Practitioner’s Perspective by Nidhi Goyal
  • Understanding and applying trauma theory in practice by Dr. Rani Raote Adhiya
  • Young people in a hyper connected world: beyond do's and don'ts for online safety by Dr. Anja Kovacs, Nayanatara Ranganathan & Smita Vanniyar.

ASCCSA 2015

At ASCCSA 2015, the conference was pushed to global standards with two days of multiple pre-seminar workshops followed by two days of the main seminar. Various international and national level stalwarts in the field of CSA participated over the four days, from 20th to 23rd of September 2015. 

(L-R) Rahul Bose, Suchismita Bose, Kalki Koechlin and Rahul Akerkar announcing ASCCSA2014 at a press conference. Click to read.

Read the report here.

Watch videos on presentations here.   

ASCCSA 2014

2014 saw the first ever national level conference on child sexual abuse in India,

organised on 16th and 17th of April.

Watch Rahul Bose announce ASCCSA at a press conference here.

Read the report here

Watch videos on presentations here. 

                                                                                           

Events

The Foundation Report 2017 on Mental Health Support in Mumbai for Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse

Why is it difficult to find a therapist when we wish to make a referral? Why are we scared of referring children to therapists whose work we are not familiar with? Why is there no established, verified network of professionals who are equipped to respond to child sexual abuse survivors with compassion? Why do a large number of survivors drop out of therapy before its completion? Why don’t so many survivors of abuse receive psychotherapeutic support?

The Foundation study germinated out of the quest to answer these questions. Despite the relentless commitment of psychologist, psychiatrists, social workers and barefoot counselors, working out of organizations and private spaces in Mumbai, there ceases to exist an easily accessible route to mental health recovery from child sexual abuse.

In May 2017, we initiated an assessment study on the quality and accessibility of mental health services available to survivors of child sexual abuse in Mumbai. 

On December 19th, the founder of The Foundation, Rahul Bose alongside Neerja Birla - Chairperson and co-founder of Mpower, Rajeshwari Chandrashekhar - Chief of Field Office, UNICEF Maharashtra and Dr. Avinash Supe - Director of Medical Education and Major Hospitals MCGM, Mumbai presented the preliminary findings of the study, which points to the trends in availability and accessibility of mental health support in Mumbai for survivors of CSA.

The Foundation’s project HEAL undertook an assessment into the quality and accessibility of mental health services for survivors of child sexual abuse (CSA) in Mumbai. Supported by Unicef Maharashtra field office, the study is a pioneering foray into evaluating mental health services for CSA survivors in a social context where the importance of mental health in itself is not understood.

Using a mixed method mixed mode research design, triangulated data was generated through collecting data from 61 mental health practitioners (MHP), 12 stakeholders in child protection and 19 survivors of child sexual abuse from Mumbai.