At the Crossroads follows the story of Meera, a woman admitted into a public hospital for attempted suicide. A concerned nurse, who believes Meera to be a survivor of domestic violence, introduces her to Dilaasa, a hospital based crisis centre, that works onÂ mitigatingÂ abuse by identifying and helping women who come to the hospital to treat various health issues that result from domestic violence . With the counsellorâ€™s help, Meera learns to handle her situation and make a fresh start. At the Crossroads focuses on the important role that health care professionals can play in stemming domestic violence. Since hospitals are often the first refuge for abused women, the steps that a health care professional takes can have a marked impact on situations involving familial or spousal abuse. The film also emphasizes the counsellorâ€™s role in helping transform the lives of survivors of domestic violence.
The event was attended by over 240 people, ranging from health workers to women from Mumbaiâ€™s slum communities who are training to be domestic violence counsellors, to individuals from NGOs such as SNEHA.
Dr. Seema Malik, Chief medical superintendent, peripheral hospitals and Project Director of Dilaasa, introduced domestic violence as a healthcare issue, and the importance of informing and training doctors and nurses to be able to help victims of abuse.
Beyond the Symptoms is a newsletter produced by Point of View and CEHAT, and is aimed at health workers with information on domestic violence. It calls on health workers to look beyond the symptoms and recognise situations of abuse that are occurring. Author of the newsletter Jaeda spoke about the process of its compilation, and asked Dr.Seema Malik to officially release it. The newsletter has both Hindi and Marathi versions, and will be distributed in hospitals across the city.
After a screening of the film, there was a discussion held with Ipshita Matira and various members of the filmâ€™s cast who attended the screening. This was then followed by a discussion chaired by Padma Deosthali from Dilaasa, where members of the audience asked questions and shared their experiences, both as healthcare workers as well as survivors of domestic abuse. The film provided an engaging focal point and platform to have wider discussions surrounding abuse and violence against women.