On October 10-11, 2015, sixteen (16) professional counselors and clinicians gathered at the Microsoft New England Conference Center in Cambridge, MA, USA to participate in DAWN Worldwide’s (DAWN) two-day Train-the-Trainers workshop. Focused on addressing gender-based violence in India, the workshop was offered to increase the breadth of professionals available to support, mentor, train, and empower their counterparts and allies in India who do this rewarding, yet frequently challenging, work.
DAWN, which stands for Direct Action Women Now, is a non-profit organization co-founded by Cambridge-based entrepreneur and philanthropist Geeta Aiyer. Over the last two years, DAWN has established a dynamic program that has trained healthcare providers and counselors in India who work with survivors of gender-based violence (GBV). The goal of these trainings has been to help these professionals explore and understand ways in which they, and their teams, can offer a victim-centered approach that improves the care and response for GBV survivors.
Primarily from the Northeast, but also from as far as Georgia and Florida, the 16 professionals came to this training with a wide range of experiences and skills. Through the training they shared and exchanged ideas and experiences, and further strengthened their own training techniques. The end result is a cadre of professionals who are able to offer their time, resources, and knowledge to a continuum of professionals in India, from direct care advocates to clinical therapists and medical doctors.
The workshop was led by experienced leaders in their field: Dr. Sujata Warrier and Meg Bossong, longtime DAWN volunteers. Dr. Warrier is the Director of Training and Technical Assistance at the Battered Women’s Justice Project. Dr. Warrier trains and provides technical assistance to professionals in health care, law enforcement, criminal and civil justice and human and social services on issues of culture, competency, relativism, domestic and sexual violence and violence against women. Ms. Bossong is the Director of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response at Williams College. Previously, she worked for the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC), where she managed the education and outreach work of Massachusetts’ oldest and largest rape crisis center, serving 26 cities and towns and 1.3 million people in the Greater Boston area.
DAWN is now more fully equipped to respond to training requests, with the goal of creating a deeper impact for those women seeking assistance after experiencing trauma and violence in their lives.
To learn more about DAWN, please visit www.dawnww.org