‘Processing’ Vulnerability, Trauma and Recovery for Women Victims: Rehabilitation Through Tools from Performance

Part of the Contemporary Performance InterActions book series (CPI)


Violence against women of all ages, and the resultant psycho-social as well as physical trauma, has been a major concern, addressed in different ways by different governmental as well as non-governmental agencies in India. Certain preventive campaigns as well as recovery programs have systematically used strategies utilizing theatrical, dance based, cinematic and media-based materials specifically developed for generating awareness and community involvement on one hand and facilitating recovery processes on the other. This paper aims to analyze the works of two organisations—Kolkata Sanved (working with Dance and Movement Therapy as a tool for recovery) and Breakthrough (campaigning and spreading awareness for common and important issues of violence, early marriage, discrimination against women). Through an intensive analytical study of the different awareness/empathy generating communication programmes that are developed and used by Breakthrough, and the anti- trafficking/recovery/empowerment based programmes on dance and movement therapy by Kolkata Sanved—this paper intends to construct a set of possible gendered ideas of ‘being’, ‘well-being’, and ‘becoming’ in the context of the microcosm of the world of the women citizens. The study aims to understand whether there is a gendered definition and model of trauma and recovery related to the different stages of prevention of violence to the stages of rescue and rehabilitation for the women who have been victims of domestic violence and trafficking. In this research the focus is on a globalized and (therefore) universalized idea of well being, in which ‘Process’ emerges as important for survivors, ‘show and tell’ seems unavoidable for NGOs and ‘product’ is a proof for funders. Hence for me in this paper, the meaning of ‘result’ emerges as something that is accessed by the three groups of stake holders differently at the same time within the works of the two organizations.


  1. Sarkar Munsi, Urmimala. 2016. Mediations around an Alternative Concept of “Work:” Re-imagining the Bodies of Survivors of Trafficking. Lateral (Special Issue: Leveraging Justice) 5 (2).Google Scholar
  2. Schmais, C. 1985. Healing Process in Group Dance Therapy. American Journal of Dance Therapy 8: 17–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jawaharlal Nehru UniversityNew DelhiIndia

Personalised recommendations