Medical activities

Sexual violence

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Rape as a weapon

MAGNA provides health care, prevention of sexually transmitted infections, and psychosociological and social support to patients who have become victims of sexual violence.

In environments with a higher incidence of sexual violence, for example in conflict zones or in refugee or resettlement camps, victims of sexual violence are cared for by our field teams. MAGNA staff in the community work to raise awareness about the problem of sexual violence, inform them about the possibility of using the care provided by MAGNA workers and spread social and psychosocial support.

Rape and other forms of sexual violence are often widespread in conflict environments, where they can be used as a tool of humiliation, punishment, control, instilling fear, but also as a tool for destroying communities. They can also be used to reward fighters or to motivate soldiers. However, millions of people who live in a stable environment also become victims of sexual violence. In these cases, the perpetrators are often acquaintances or family members of the victims.

DR CONGO. Martin Bandžák/MAGNA

Treatment comes first

Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is a form of HIV prevention and is given to rape victims within 72 hours of the rape. Contraception should also be provided to the victim immediately to make it as effective as possible. Antibiotics are used to prevent sexually transmitted infections such as syphilis or gonorrhea, followed by vaccinations against tetanus and hepatitis B. Treatment of physical injuries and psychological support are also part of the care package.

MAGNA runs specialized programs for the treatment of victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The issue of sexual violence is also part of our women’s health projects in Lebanon, Cambodia, South Sudan, Iraq and Syria.

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