Delhi, 8 December 2016: The international medical humanitarian organisation- Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) organised an awareness-raising event on violence against women for the women and girls from the Jahangirpuri community today. Participating in support of the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence campaign by UN Women, that started on 25 November (the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women), MSF conducted interactive games, a puppet show, and poster making competition to address the serious issue of violence against women with the women of the community.
Acknowledging a responsibility to respond to the medical needs of people in situations of violence, abuse, and deliberate neglect, MSF inaugurated the UMEED KI KIRAN CLINIC – a community based clinic in November 2015. For a year now, the clinic has been providing free, appropriate and timely medical and psychological care to the survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, including children in the Jahangirpuri area of north Delhi.
“Sexual and gender based violence is challenging to address. Raising awareness hence becomes the first step in fighting violence against women, encouraging them to seek medical and much needed psychological attention. This is one of the many outreach activities through which we wish to educate the community on the medical impact of sexual violence and the importance of seeking timely assistance. We have had an encouraging audience from the community in the street plays, puppet shows, presentations, psycho-education sessions all organised with a similar objective in the past.” said Marisa Denault, Project Coordinator, Umeed Ki Kiran Clinic, MSF India. “Some women have even come forward and reached out to the team directly after such events. This shows how important it is to address this sensitive topic in the public domain. More importantly, when survivors can relate to the role-plays presented in these events, and learn that there is a service available to help them, it reduces the barrier for them to come forward and seek help.” she added.
“Stigma and confidentiality are two major deciding factors of survivors seeking medical care. Umeed Ki Kiran is a community based clinic that offers all its services in a friendly, sensitive, confidential and unbiased manner complying with the Ministry of Health (MoH) guidelines. Our team of doctors, nurses and counsellors are trained to receive survivors of sexual and domestic violence in a sensitive manner. The clinic provides a unique model of service delivery combining both medical and psychological care for the survivors of domestic and sexual violence.” added Magali Roudaut, Country Director, MSF India.
About MSF in India
MSF has worked in India since 1999, providing free-of-charge essential healthcare to people in remote areas, and specialist care for people affected by HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, acute febrile illnesses, tuberculosis, kala azar, and sexual and gender-based violence. We also respond to natural disasters and other emergencies, provide mental healthcare and advocate for the development of more effective and affordable medicines to improve access to treatment for people everywhere.
We currently run projects in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra, Manipur, Telangana and West Bengal.
MSF was awarded the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development in 1996 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999.
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