Vol. 1, Issue 6 (2016)
Culture and mental health: The status sex trafficked victims in South India
Author(s): Dr. Kumudini Achchi
Abstract: Health is the upmost wealth of any living being. Preservation of good health becomes an essential factor to lead a happy and purposeful life. Social justice and the human rights are the factors which are in peek when the issue of health is considered. These factors are in heightened when the issue of sexual exploitation of women is considered. Human Trafficking for sexual exploitation has been recognized as the second major social problem of the world. In such scenario, contributions of culture to the disturbed mental health status of the victims of sexual exploitation has been admitted by the practitioners. To understand the same a study was conducted considering 32 NGOs in south India. The descriptive and diagnostic research design was adopted along with interview schedule as tool for collecting data. Statistically, simple descriptive and Contingency Co-efficient tests were adopted to analyse the collected data. The data reveals that the survivors are suffering from depression, post-traumatic stress syndrome, anxiety and mood disorder. The prejudices towards the issue and the survivors, stigma and discrimination in the society, masked attitude of the society in the same of culture, socialization process of women in Indian culture and the addiction to alcohol, different types of drugs etc., are the factors influencing the quality results of NGOs intervention in mainstreaming these commercially sexually exploited women in their working areas. As corrective actions, the NGOs are intervening with educative programmes for sex buyers, introducing programmes to empower vulnerable women in economic issues, awareness creation for healthier environment, working out on de-addiction attempts as well as reduction of risk factors which are responsible for women in such exploitative situation. All these understanding support the influence of cultural factors on mental health of women in sexually exploitative situation.