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Haiti

Talking points | "Against their will" report

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    The number of minors and young people who report experiencing SGBV in Haiti...

    ...is high, especially in the capital city Port-au-Prince. Yet, the issue is still overlooked.

    In May 2015, MSF opened a clinic specialized in...

    ...providing medical and psychosocial care for people affected by SGBV in Port-au-Prince: Pran Men’m clinic (Haitian creole for “take my hand”).

    Since its opening, MSF’s Pran Men’m clinic has...

    ...provided care to close to 1,300 SGBV survivors. Minors and young people below the age of 25 appear to be the most vulnerable ones.

    • Patients younger than 25 years of age represent the vast majority, 77% precisely, of all survivors that MSF has treated in its Pran Men’m clinic.
    • 53% of patients are under 18.
    • 97% of patients are female – But SGBV also affects men and boys.
    • 83% of patients are rape survivors.
    • Four out of five minors who have experienced SGBV knew their attackers.
    Every day, MSF’s clinicians witness...

    ...the health and psychological consequences of SGBV. To address medical consequences, it is critical for patients to seek care urgently, within 72 hours.

    • Sexual violence can be a cause of HIV transmission and other sexually-transmitted infections.
    • It can lead to unwanted pregnancies, which has grave life-changing consequences especially for the youngest ones.
    • Survivors often have physical injuries (bruises, lacerations, stabbing, fractures), and sexual violence can cause vaginal or anal tearing, bleeding or infection.
    • Immediately after sexual attacks, survivors are often in a state of shock; some may feel guilty, believing they could have avoided the rape. Rape survivors can also develop depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
    The consequences of SGBV are...

    ...physical and psychological, but they are also social and economic.

    • SGBV affects not only the survivors, but also their families and communities.
    • Survivors need comprehensive care, which includes a range of services (such as social assistance, protection including emergency housing, etc.).
    • 67% of our patients are in need of social assistance. Such services can include for instance emergency housing, economic assistance, schooling assistance, legal support.
    • Survivors need to have access to longer-term, safe and secure shelter solutions. This is one of the greatest and most urgent needs for our patients.
    Sexual and gender-based violence in Haiti...

    ...must be recognized as a public health issue. This is critical to improve services for survivors and to increase prevention programs.

    • Adequate, timely and free of charge emergency medical and psychological care should be easily accessible for all rape survivors. Survivors also need to be able to access social assistance services.
    • Survivors need to be able to access a wide range of services so that their immediate needs, as well as the long-term are addressed.
    • Emergency contraception, vaccines (hepatitis B, tetanus) and medicines for the prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections should be available in health structures and easily accessible for rape survivors.
    • Health professionals need to be trained in order to respond to the specific needs of medical and psychological care for SGBV survivors.
    • A referral network of service providers for SGBV survivors, efficiently coordinated at national and local levels, is urgently needed. This will ensure that any survivor seeking assistance is being properly referred to a comprehensive range of services.
    • Donors need to support organizations which support the multi-disciplinary response including protection programs with safe shelter solutions, with more sustainable and reliable funding to ensure the protection of the most vulnerable survivors.

    "Against their will" full report

    Article: against their will

    *Main picture: MSF works with a network of local organisations, who work with young girls and vulnerable children.© Benedicte Kurzen/Noor