CHENNAI: Psychological first aid (PFA) is the prime need of women who undergo trauma due to domestic violence or sexual assault, but remains lacking in the healthcare set up for these women. Forensic evaluation acts as a significant factor in providing PFA as forensic experts who are entitled to examine the survivors need to consider the risk factors to prevent worsening the mental status of the victim.
“Forensic evaluation is a very important factor for such victims and every possible effort should be made that female doctor examine the victim, who should aid the patient with PFA,” said Dr Jagadeesh Reddy, professor of forensic medicine. Forensic experts state that medical evaluation and other forensic procedures should be done respecting the dignity, culture and abilities of a victim who has undergone violence and assault.
PFA should comfort the affected people by talking to them, without pressurising them to talk. An assault survivor may undergo depression, fear, shock, anxiety, suicidal tendency and post-traumatic stress disorder, it is for such women that PFA can be of help them overcome the mental trauma, say psychologists. “The mental health of the victims of domestic violence and sexual assaults impact mental health as they are exposed to an unbearable situation suddenly. Treatment and physical health aid provided can heal the wounds. The brain of the survivor is affected in such a way that they get into deep distress when an unforeseen situation arises and the mind does not get enough time for adapting to the trauma and can fall prey to severe mental disorders,” says Dr Vivian Kapil, psychiatrist, SIMS hospital.