In a move aimed at helping traumatised rape victims join the mainstream, the Madurai District Police offered free counselling here on Saturday.

Around 30 women assembled for the closed door interaction, which was presided over by Superintendent of Police V. Balakrishnan, coordinated by Prof. Janet Shankar from Madurai Institute of Social Sciences and other psychologists.

Questions addressed were to what extent society protected the victims, what the future held for them, rehabilitation for their children and psychological problems faced by the women’s wards.

The SP promised to ease the process of securing ration cards for victims.Self-employment opportunities were discussed.Some women expressed a desire to start their own business ventures, while others wished to study further.

According to the psychologists, counselling not only offered hope but also helped ventilate their emotions. Counselling helped them think positively and to add quality to their lives.

The initiative to educate themselves and build awareness had deterred many victims from ending their lives out of a state of depression, Mr. Balakrishnan said. "This is just a beginning," he summed up.

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