The survivor needs the power of words, thoughts and positive affirmation.
The incidence of crimes against women sees no signs of abating. The recent incident of kidnap and sexual assault of a young actor in Kochi has raised serious concerns about the safety of women travelling alone. The first step every woman who has faced any kind of harassment should take is filing a complaint.
Dr Zaileshia, clinical psychologist, says, “Till the perpetrator of the crime is given necessary punishment, I don’t think the victim will find some semblance of closure. Survivors who choose to take legal action and fight it out are very brave. Sadness and helplessness should not be transmitted to the survivor but wholehearted support to see that things are brought to a logical end. The perpetrators should be caught and given severe punishment so that the survivor feels safe again.”
However, given the delay in criminal cases, the emotional rehabilitation of the survivor is not easy; the trauma is not something that can be easily erased. Vijaya Balakrishnan, counsellor, says that the first step is to make the survivor feel safe and protected.
She explains, “The next step is relaxation techniques which can be done using CDs or manually. After the survivor’s confusion turns to clarity, bring her out of the trauma through positive thinking. No negative words should be used. ‘I am not sad’ is putting two negatives, instead say ‘I am courageous’.”
Basically, the survivor needs the power of words, thoughts and positive affirmation. Vijaya says that positive affirmation every day over a long period can create new neuron tracks in the brain that will slowly obliterate old thoughts.