Dear Partners and Allies,
Our sincere apologies in the delay to submit our post. Here are some sharings we have compiled and some questions that follow.
Recovering and Healing from Incest (RAHI) Foundation began in the mid-90's in response to a large vacuum of work to respond to the needs of adult survivors of child sexual abuse (CSA) and incest. It's focus since then remains as pivotal to the dialog about prevention, training, counseling, advocacy, and empowerment till today. Today, RAHI Foundation is a pioneer as India's first incest/CSA response organization. We entered the conversation about the issue through the lens of survivors and looked at how sexual violations in childhood impact the lives of women and girls. We have learned from their stories about how CSA takes place and what needs to be done for prevention.
Nonetheless, given that RAHI exists in a social-cultural-political-economic global space, there are challenges we still continue to face that we would like to share and create a space for dialog with all of you on this forum:
a) Our experience at RAHI has been indicative of the phenomenon that individual healing and social change go hand-in-hand because survivors in recovery contribute to change. As change takes place, more survivors step in for help – so our healing work is located in the context of social change. We often experience, in the national and global contexts, that it is challenging for people to understand the relevance of our work and our focus on healing and the need to work with young adult survivors. The common response is - 'What is the point of working with someone after the abuse has stopped or so many years later, shouldn't you be working on prevention/with children instead?' Our questions to you are rooted in this - a) How do you organizations sustainably reinforce the focus of your work with adolescents and b) How do you respond to challenges of skepticism around directing your resources and organizational energies to this important demographic of young adolescent girls?
Many many thanks for your care and consideration in reading and responding to our questions.
With respect, -Suparna