Classical dance therapeutic

MUMBAI – Classical Indian dance could be an effective form of therapy for victims of human trafficking and sexual violence, helping them to overcome their traumatic experiences and gain confidence, a pilot study has shown.

The six-month study of 50 female survivors in Kolkata and Mumbai found that dance movement therapy helped ease anxiety, depression, anger and post-traumatic stress when used alongside traditional counselling and other rehabilitation efforts.

“Often, in the rehabilitation of victims of trafficking and sexual violence, the impact on the body can be overlooked,” said Sohini Chakraborty, the founder and director of Kolkata Sanved, a charity which carried out the research.

“Dance is about the body, and the women are somewhat familiar with these dance forms, so we can help them heal and create a more positive body image,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

The rehabilitation of victims in India is often inadequate and inconsistent in a culture that does not encourage women to speak up or seek counselling, women’s rights groups say.

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