National Conference on ‘Online Interests, Offline Consequences: Navigating Complex Sexualities in Digital Contexts’ organised in Pune

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Pune, October 6, 2019: The program for Primary Prevention of Sexual Violence (PPPSV) project undertaken by King Edward Memorial Hospital Research Centre (KEMHRC), Pune and a Bayer India CSR initiative, jointly organised a national conference in Pune on the topic ‘Online Interests, Offline Consequences: Navigating Complex Sexualities in Digital Contexts’ today.

Several experts from different fields Dr TSS Rao, Dr. Mrugesh Vaishnav, Dr. Harish Shetty, Dr. Nitin Anand, Rohit Srivastwa, N.S. Nappinai, Sonali Patankar, Dr. Sumit Narula, and Prof. Dr. Klaus M. Beier presented on different topics related to the themes of the conference. The event concluded with a multidisciplinary panel discussion.

In a message sent to the PPPSV team, Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister of Maharashtra said, “I am glad to note that approaches such as PPPSV team of experts are working towards creating an acceptable solution to prevent sexual violence against children by highlighting prevention as an approach. This program undertaken by KEMHRC to provide psychological and medical treatment to people with pedophilia and help them refrain from acting out is very much needed.”

D Narain, Senior Bayer Representative, South Asia, said “Bayer has always tried to harness the power of collective thinking to contribute to solve complex social problems. While science is a starting point to deal with many of the problems we face today, social context remains an inherent aspect. Bayer is making a sincere attempt with like-minded group of partners and stakeholders to make a positive impact on the Child Sexual Abuse situation in India”.

Prof. Dr. Klaus M. Beier, Director of Institute of Sexology and Sexual Medicine, Charité, Berlin elaborated about the treatment plan, “The goal of PPPSV is to develop approaches for primary prevention of sexual violence in India via the route of medical science and technology. Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin looks back on a 300 year history of excellence in world-class medicine. In 2005, the Institute of Sexology and Sexual Medicine at Charité started the “Prevention Project Dunkelfeld” which has now developed into a nationwide network of outpatient clinics providing treatment for self-identifying, help-seeking and non-offending people with pedophilia and hebephilia outside of the legal system. It aims to help these men to guarantee continuous sexual self-control to prevent child sexual abuse and the use of Child Sexual Abuse Material (otherwise known as child pornography).”

KEM Hospital Research Centre (KEMHRC) is a sister concern of the KEM Hospital, Pune, and has been functioning since over 30 years. KEMHRC has taken up an active step for primary prevention of Child Sexual Abuse and the use of Child Sexual Abuse Material.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Mrs. Laila Garda, Director of KEM Hospital Research Centre, Pune said “Primary Prevention approach is a means to prevent the incident before it happens. This approach brings to fore strategies that utilize knowledge about typologies of potential offenders as well as potential victims that influence sexual offense situations before they occur. This major task is divided into three scopes – Research on child sexual abuse in India, Primary prevention of child sexual abuse through treatment and Primary prevention of sexual abuse through deterrence. In this context, self-identified, motivated and non-offending people with pedophilia will be treated by prevention approaches that help them control their urges and thereby reduce sexual offences against children.”

Since its inception, this one of its first kind and novel project, PPPSV, had struggled to survive and exist in India – a country dominated by culture of silence regarding sexuality. However, over the years it received great appreciation and admiration from people all over the country.