Over 400 women come to the Burns Unit at the Kilpauk Medical College in Chennai every single year, and while it is not reported as such, most of those cases are of domestic violence.

Surviving burns Domestic violence and its aftermath
Delve Domestic Violence Friday, August 31, 2018 - 10:43

It is not uncommon to see newspaper headlines on how ‘stove bursts’ or ‘kitchen accidents’ have grievously injured or killed women. While many of them are accidents, social workers in Chennai have noticed a pattern over several years. Often, women who are victims of domestic violence at the hands of their intimate partners and families are pushed to suicide, and several among them take to the kerosene in the kitchen to burn themselves. And many of these get reported as accidents.

There are several reasons why these cases have to be identified as not just as attempt to suicides, but that the women were driven to it because of domestic violence. The main reason being, only the correct understanding of what the women are going through can inform the correct response to rehabilitate the women who survive the incidents, albeit with several physical and mental trauma.

Speaking to The News Minute, survivors of burns trauma talk about the aftermath of the domestic violence, and social workers explain why the support services given to these women must be trauma-informed, and domestic-violence-informed.

If a woman survives an act of self-immolation, driven to by domestic violence, then it is only the beginning of a long and painful journey of recovery for her. Not only does her burn injuries need specialised care, but she also needs sensitive and continuous psychosocial interventions which is focussed on dealing with the violence she faces at home. These interventions include regular counselling, activities like social outings to reintegrate her into society and programs to make her financially independent and empower her.

Watch the video and listen to women survivors of burns and social workers talk about the challenges they face and the process of recovery.

Surviving Burns: Domestic violence and its aftermath

Surviving Burns: Domestic violence and its aftermath

Posted by TheNewsMinute on Friday, 31 August 2018
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