Special Projects

Holistic Care, Empowerment, Assistance and Learning (HEAL) Program 2013-2019

HEAL provides training, technical assistance, expertise, and resources to counselors, social workers, and healthcare professionals. HEAL believes in providing trauma-informed care and taking a victim-centered approach when working with victims/survivors of violence. It works to help professionals understand how to create such responses within the systems in which they work. HEAL invests in these individuals, the caregivers and crisis responders, who provide immediate treatment and long-term holistic care that survivors of gender-based violence need.

HEAL Program Objective

The objective of the HEAL Program was to bring global expertise to local communities.  We worked with community leaders to build a model of holistic care that can be adapted to their unique healthcare setting and cultural context. The HEAL provided  forums for action-oriented discussion. The collaborative workshops enable the sharing of holistic care and intervention techniques between counselors and healthcare professionals from different areas of expertise and communities. DAWN’s trainers and advisers worked with survivors of gender-based violence in a variety of cultural contexts. They brought  years of experience and expertise to this work.

Key Outcomes of the Project:

  • Disparate groups from all over India came together  to network, share ideas, and collaborate
  • Assisted implementing a victim-centered approach for survivors that meets the needs of the person where they are.
  • that led to the development of a national network of rape crisis centers in the U.S.
  • Provided a forum for various stakeholders across different regions in India to discuss and adapt models of service, including trauma-informed care and vicarious traumatization, to the unique situations encountered in their communities

Under the HEAL program, multiple workshops/trainings were facilitated between 2013 to 2019  by trained experts sent  from the U.S to create advocacy and services for victims of sexual violence for immediate and long term needs of survivors. The workshops facilitated examining  the concepts of gender and its connection to violence, the process of screening within clinics, advanced work on supporting survivors, trauma care, enhancement of advocacy skills as well as conversing with women in the clinics. The trainings focussed on Train the Trainer model, with the usage of  adult learning theories and facilitation techniques to enhance current trainings that were used by health care providers. Approximately 250 participants were trained that included counselors and advocates work in violence prevention and direct services as well as  doctors, nurses, advocates, researchers from hospitals from Mumbai, Goa and Pune. Participants came from Mumbai.  Ahmedabad, Dharwad, Singbhum, Surat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Delhi/Agra, West Bengal, Maharashtra.

The partners included Family Planning Association of India, FPAI, Mumbai,  Center for Enquiry into Health and Allied Themes CEHAT, Mumbai, Health Care professionals from Bombay Municipal Corporation (BMC) Mumbai and Sanlaap, West Bengal.

Trainer and Program Advisors included:

  • Sujata Warrier, Director of Training and Technical Assistance at the Battered Women’s Justice Project.
  • Shamita Das Dasgupta-Co Founder Manav
  • Meg Bossong, Director of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response at Williams College.


Community Strong: Leadership Development and Coalition-Building

DAWN  Worldwide strives to build a strong community where men and women work in partnership for safer homes, schools, workplaces and neighborhoods. The Community Strong initiative brings women’s and men’s organizations together to discuss obstacles, share ideas and work together on bystander intervention and community engagement initiatives.

Ben Atherton – Zemen, National Anti-Violence Speaker/Performer

Ben Atherton, National Anti-Violence Speaker and Performer was invited by DAWN Worldwide to increase visibility of Men and Boys work In India.

Some of the highlights of Ben’s trip in January 2019 was the  performance “Voices of Men” in collaboration with MAVA actors at Bhavan’s College  with an the audience was over 100 college students.

Ben cofacilitated a training on Engaging Men to Stop Gender-Based Violence at St. Stephen’s College in Delhi and performed “Voices of Men” at the NGO JAGORI.  Ben reached out to  1200 students with 600 college men making a pledge. This performance was  featured in in the Tamil edition of “The Hindu”

Lastly Ben’s trip culminated with an interactive role play with 90 secondary students, allowing them to practice bystander intervention against street harassment. 500 boys pledged to “never commit, condone, or remain silent about men’s violence against women.”


Roundtable on Bystander and Upstander Intervention

This aim of this  roundtable in 2014 in Mumbai was to work toward an establishment of a coalition to continue the discussion on Bystanders discussion and innovative ways to promote bystander intervention. The roundtable focused on exchanging experiences and evaluating existing bystander models; understanding challenges facing bystanders including caste, class, and regional division; defining what it means to be an “up stander” and strategizing how it can be leveraged. The roundtable successfully created a forum where ideas, successes, and challenges were shared and problems discussed. This forum was a huge success with 8-10 NGO’s represented at the table.

The non-governmental organizations represented at the roundtable included:

  • Arpan
  • Society for Nutrition, Education & Health Action (SNEHA)
  • Men Against Violence and Abuse (MAVA)
  • Centre for Enquiry Into Health and Allied Themes (CEHAT)
  • Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS)
  • Aangan