Once a sexual violence project is established, the next step is to spread the message that free and confidential services are available, and how to access them. We also focus on the value of seeking care as soon as possible—72 hours being the window for the most effective medical care.
Establishing links with the broader community means we can work as partners in raising awareness, reducing stigma, and mobilising support for victims. Lay community groups, healthcare networks, police and other authorities are all important actors in understanding sexual violence and ensuring that victims receive appropriate care. Thanks to community-wide support in Mathare, Kenya, for example, many victims are referred to the clinic by police or community leaders.
As you’ll discover via the updates below, from booklets to radio interviews, school presentations to street theatre, Médecins Sans Frontières’ teams are highly active in delivering positive messages to break down the barriers to care.