News cov­er­age af­fect­ing vic­tims

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE - Dil­naz Boga MUM­BAI dil­naz. boga@ dnain­dia. net

The ex­ploita­tive me­dia cov­er­age and the state­ments by the politi­cians on the rape and death of the 23- yearold girl in Delhi, is hav­ing an ad­verse im­pact on the psy­che of the peo­ple in the city, in­clud­ing mo­lesta­tion and rape sur­vivors, say psy­chi­a­trists.

There is a sec­tion of men and women who are re­liv­ing their ex­pe­ri­ence of rape and mo­lesta­tion, said psy­chi­a­trist Har­ish Shetty. “The best thing to do is to stay away from the tele­vi­sion and the sto­ries that are in the press,” he added.

For pa­tients who are un­der­go­ing treat­ment for in­ci­dents of rape or mo­lesta­tion, there has been a marked in­crease in their symp­toms af­ter the story broke. Com­ment­ing on the state of mind of sur­vivors of th­ese crimes, psy­chi­a­trist Dayal Mir­chan­dani said that as most sur­vivors don’t report the crime, they have mixed emo­tions. “This re­ac­ti­vates what hap­pened to them, even if they have moved on. They be­come re­trau­ma­tised and they start mulling over their ex­pe­ri­ence, have flash­backs and blame them­selves or some­one else for what oc­curred,” Mir­chan­dani said.

The press and so­cial net­work­ing sites are full of news about the bru­tal rape cases and par­ents have started feel­ing anx­ious about their daugh­ters, who live in hos­tels all over In­dia, Shetty stated. So­cial psy­chol­o­gist and sex­u­al­ity ed­u­ca­tor, Chandni Parekh feels that im­pos­ing re­stric­tions on chil­dren’s ac­tiv­i­ties can­not be the so­lu­tion. We need to have di­a­logues about the ways in which peo­ple can deal with all forms of vi­o­lence, she said. Mir­chan­dani feels that the whole idea of be­ing un­safe has come to the fore be­cause of this in­ci­dent. “Be­tween feel­ing an­gry and un­safe, par­ents are putting re­stric­tions on chil­dren’s at­tire and tim­ings. Re­stric­tions are be­ing put on the clothes worn by stu­dents. Women are re­sent­ful of th­ese re­stric­tions,” Mir­chan­dani elab­o­rated.

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