Africa Asia Middle East عربي Français Português Subscribe RSS IRIN Site Map
Global HIV/AIDS news and analysis
Advanced search
 Tuesday 17 March 2009
Weekly reports 
In-Depth reports 
Country profiles 
Fact files 
Most read 
Print report
GLOBAL: Rape survivors need better emergency care - MSF

Photo: Prince Collins/IRIN
Many survivors of sexual violence never come forward to seek help
NAIROBI, 9 March 2009 (PlusNews) - People who have suffered sexual violence in countries facing humanitarian crises need much more accessible, comprehensive and confidential care than is currently available, says a new report by the international medical charity, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).

"We find that the specific emergency care needed for victims of rape is either very rare or completely absent in the countries where we operate," said Thilde Knudsen, MSF's sexual and reproductive health advisor. "The damage cannot be completely undone; some level of psychological impact is likely to remain for life."

In the report, Shattered Lives, released on 5 March, ahead of International Women's Day on 8 March, MSF highlights its experience with sexual violence in Burundi, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia and South Africa.

As part of the comprehensive care required for sexual violence victims MSF lists counselling, post-exposure prophylaxis to prevent HIV-infection, treatment for other sexually transmitted infections, such as Hepatitis-B, tetanus injections for those physically injured, and emergency contraception.

Read more
 IRAQ: Iraqi women suffering "silent emergency", survey finds
 KENYA: Jane, "I told them I was HIV-positive ... they raped me anyway"
 MOZAMBIQUE: Girls' clubs highlight sexual abuse
"With the right package of timely medical care, coupled with trauma counselling and social and legal support, the damage can be limited and the victim helped to survive," Knudsen stressed.

MSF also said aggressive awareness-raising campaigns were necessary to break social taboos and encourage survivors of sexual violence - including male survivors, who often went unrecognised and untreated - to report.

"Our teams hear painful stories of horrible abuse every day," said Meinie Nicolai, operational director of MSF in Belgium. "There can be no excuse for sexual violence, no matter how prevalent these violations may be in some of the places where we work."


Theme(s): (PLUSNEWS) Conflict, (PLUSNEWS) Gender Issues, (PLUSNEWS) Prevention - PlusNews


[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]
Print report
FREE Subscriptions
Your e-mail address:

Submit your request
 More on Afghanistan
GLOBAL: HIV incidence rising in 50+ age group
GLOBAL: New insight into HI-virus
GLOBAL: A glimmer of hope for microbicide research
GLOBAL: Optimistic UNAIDS sets ambitious goals
GLOBAL: Global Fund facing shortfall
 More on Gender Issues
UGANDA: Catching more than fish
KENYA: Female condom shortage
KENYA: Jane, "I told them I was HIV-positive ... they raped me anyway"
KENYA: FGM falsely touted as a panacea for HIV
KENYA: Jane Nyasuguta: "I made it a resolution to go down with as many men as possible
Back | Home page

Services:  Africa | Asia | Middle East | Radio | Film & TV | Photo | Live news map | E-mail subscription
Feedback · E-mail Webmaster · IRIN Terms & Conditions · Really Simple Syndication News Feeds · About PlusNews · Jobs · Bookmark PlusNews · Donors

Copyright © IRIN 2009
This material comes to you via IRIN, the humanitarian news and analysis service of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the United Nations or its Member States. Republication is subject to terms and conditions as set out in the IRIN copyright page.