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Sexual and gender based violence 

Sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) is a medical emergency. 
 
We strive to make comprehensive health care available for survivors of sexual violence, whether they be women, children or men in all of our projects. 
 
Sexual violence can occur in any society at any time, but is exacerbated in unstable situations such as conflicts.    
 
As a medical emergency, SGBV requires direct access and referral to quality health services.  


 
What is Sexual Violence? 

 
SGBV encompasses many different acts of violence against women, children and men, ranging from rape to genital mutilation.  
 
In conflict, rape is often used as a weapon or as a reward for soldiers. Rape and other forms of sexual abuse are also used as a means of torture or, in some cases, as a strategy to spread HIV/AIDS within a community. 


 
Medical Consequences 

Sexual violence can cause a wide variety of medical consequences affecting physical and reproductive health.   
 
Physical injuries can range from stab wounds, fractures, and bleeding to vaginal fistuals.   
 
People who are sexually abused are also more susceptible to developing a sexually transmitted infection (STI) such as HIV. STIs are more likely to be transmitted by forced sex, as vaginal or anal tears provide an entry for the virus.  
 
Another medical consequence can be unintended pregnancies. According to the World Health Organisation, women who have suffered sexual violence are twice as likely to have an abortion. Unsafe abortions performed in resource poor settings often cause further consequences for reproductive health. 
 

An MSF ambulance on juja road, Nairobi, Kenya  en-route to pick up a patient [ © Kiki / MSF ]
01/07/2019

Kenya: A Night on call

Many people visit MSF's Lavender house in Nairobi, Kenya on the worst day or night of their lives.  But it's open for them around the clock whenever they need it most 

Embedded thumbnail for Kenya: A night on call
13/06/2019

Kenya: A night on call

Lavender House offers a lifeline for medical emergencies in Nairobi's Eastlands area, especially after dark.
08/04/2019

Mary Rose Makau: " I’ve always found working with pregnant women very fulfilling"

Mary Rose has worked for MSF as a nurse midwife since mid-2018.

25/02/2019

South Sudan: “It is very gratifying to see former child soldiers being integrated back into their communities”

Former child soldiers from the armed conflict in South Sudan are being helped to reintegrate into society by a team from Médecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders (MSF). Mental health activity manager Silvia Márquez describes the project, which is a first for MSF.

 

01/02/2019

Bangladesh: we provided one million consultations. This is what we found.

MSF medical coordinator Jessica Patti describes what our teams found and where we plan to focus our efforts next

17/05/2018

North Darfur: Only distant dreams of returning home for people in Sortoni camp

MSF Head of Mission, Elmounzer Ag Jiddou, explains life in the camp, which is home to more than 23,000 people 

08/01/2017

Sandra Githaiga

A Kenyan psychologist led a team of MSF counsellors treating rape survivors in slums in the Indian capital, New Delhi.

Pages

Sexual and gender based violence 

Sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) is a medical emergency. 
 
We strive to make comprehensive health care available for survivors of sexual violence, whether they be women, children or men in all of our projects. 
 
Sexual violence can occur in any society at any time, but is exacerbated in unstable situations such as conflicts.    
 
As a medical emergency, SGBV requires direct access and referral to quality health services.  


 
What is Sexual Violence? 

 
SGBV encompasses many different acts of violence against women, children and men, ranging from rape to genital mutilation.  
 
In conflict, rape is often used as a weapon or as a reward for soldiers. Rape and other forms of sexual abuse are also used as a means of torture or, in some cases, as a strategy to spread HIV/AIDS within a community. 


 
Medical Consequences 

Sexual violence can cause a wide variety of medical consequences affecting physical and reproductive health.   
 
Physical injuries can range from stab wounds, fractures, and bleeding to vaginal fistuals.   
 
People who are sexually abused are also more susceptible to developing a sexually transmitted infection (STI) such as HIV. STIs are more likely to be transmitted by forced sex, as vaginal or anal tears provide an entry for the virus.  
 
Another medical consequence can be unintended pregnancies. According to the World Health Organisation, women who have suffered sexual violence are twice as likely to have an abortion. Unsafe abortions performed in resource poor settings often cause further consequences for reproductive health.