In the light of current controversies surrounding the conviction of Dera chief, Ram Rahim and a few other Godmen waiting for a judgment, I observe that there has been neither any talk nor thought about the prolonged ordeal that the rape victims may have gone through.
Whenever a rape incident is in news, the focus of the general public, largely, is on punishing the wrongdoers. In a way, it is a sign of support that people do not look down upon the victims nowadays (there is still a section of society including our learned politicians who blame the victims for inappropriate attire). While, of course, it is absolutely necessary to convict the criminal(s), but more importantly, it is crucial to counsel the victims so that they can move on in their lives.
Rarely have we read about the victim’s trauma because it doesn’t interest us. Our personalities have become such that we let our anger overpower our compassionate sides. What interests us more is the police investigations, the court findings, public debates etc. And we follow blindly what the social and print media tells us without an iota of doubt that the convict himself could have fallen prey to a well-planned conspiracy. We never dare to think otherwise because we derive pleasure from punishment. Our entire legal system is based on nothing but revenge.
Having said this, I, by no means intend to defend the wrongdoers. I would rather stress on the reformation of both the victims and the convicts. In this article, I will share my thoughts on rape victim counselling. At first, we need to understand that rape victims are very sensitive to human touch so they may have a tendency to take otherwise, any physical advances. But, at the same time, a motherly hug can work wonders.
They need to be assured repeatedly that it is not their fault. They tend to blame themselves for not putting up enough fight and also because they were tagged as ‘dirty’ and impure. But society has changed with time and people have now started accepting the survivors back. An event this devastating can snatch away anyone’s self-esteem and nurturing them back is a task in itself. But love, patience and compassion can change it all.
It is also important to talk to someone trustworthy about the incident, the worries and the flashes. Tell them how you feel about the incident. Don’t isolate yourself and engage in social activities. Isolation will lead to overthinking and eventually get worse. A lot of NGOs are now providing employment opportunities for rape survivors.
Also, be prepared to have nightmares and flashes of the incidents. Exercise some slow breathing techniques and meditation to calm yourself. So whenever you have one, be aware that it is not reality and slow down your breathing to avoid a panicky state. To be connected to friends and family is the best and the quickest way to come out of the trauma. To the friends and family of the survivors, I would recommend giving unconditional support and love so that they can heal faster.