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19th March 2024 (14 Topics)

Violence, homelessness, and women’s mental health

Context:

The National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) reveals alarming rates of violence against women in India, highlighting its intersection with mental health conditions and homelessness.

Findings of Relevance:

  • Interplay of Violence, Mental Health, and Homelessness: A significant proportion of women in India experience physical and sexual violence, with subsequent mental health conditions often leading to homelessness. Studies corroborate the complex relationship between violence against women, mental health issues, and homelessness.
  • Personal Narratives and Impact: The conditions of homelessness, often stems from traumatic experiences of violence within familial or intimate relationships. These narratives shed light on the profound impact of childhood trauma, intimate partner violence, and societal marginalization on individual mental health and housing stability.
  • Madness as Resistance and Coping Mechanism: Some women perceive their experiences of madness as a form of resistance against societal norms and violence, providing a means of escape or empowerment.

Comprehensive Solutions and Policy Implications:

  • Addressing Structural Barriers: Solutions to combat violence against women necessitate a multifaceted approach, including recognition of unpaid labor, creation of supportive networks, and economic empowerment through access to basic income and housing.
  • Educational Interventions: Embedding gender-sensitive curriculum in education systems can challenge harmful gender norms and foster egalitarian values.
  • Inclusive Research and Policy Development: A holistic approach to addressing homelessness, mental health, and violence against women requires diverse perspectives, innovative research, and meaningful involvement of individuals with lived experiences.
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