Sexual violence

Sexual violence occurs in all societies and in all contexts at any time. Destabilisation of contexts often results in increased levels of violence, including sexual violence. Sexual violence is particularly complex and stigmatising and has long-lasting consequences and can result in important physical and psychological health risks.

MSF medical care for victims of sexual violence covers preventive treatment against sexually transmitted infections including HIV, syphilis and gonorrhoea, and vaccinations for tetanus and hepatitis B. Treatment of physical injuries, psychological support and the prevention and management of unwanted pregnancy are also part of the systematic care. MSF provides a medical certificate to all victims of violence.

Medical care is central to MSF’s response to sexual violence, but stigma and fear may prevent many victims from coming forward. A proactive approach is necessary to raise awareness about the medical consequences of sexual violence and the availability of care. Where MSF sees large numbers of victims - especially in areas of conflict - advocacy action aims to raise awareness among local authorities, as well as the armed forces when they are involved in the assaults.

MSF medically treated 11,100 patients for sexual-violence related injuries in 2015.

Sort by:

“Our house was looted, our cattle were looted, we had to flee, and we couldn’t stay. We left...
Press release
“Treatment and psychosocial counselling for rape survivors reporting within 72 hours can prevent...
Central African Republic
Extreme violence in the Central African Republic (CAR) over the year resulted in a massive...
Notes from the field
Testimony
“The conditions here are very bad - we cannot go back to Dara because there is rape, sexual...
Press release
MSF has released a report into the peacekeeping and humanitarian response following the attack on...
Notes from the field
Midwife Carlen Mezendy Ndakala is the delivery room supervisor at the MSF maternity clinic in...
Updates
“Our work involves changing mentalities to get rid of the taboo around sexual violence, and to be...
Updates
61,000 displaced persons from the Jebel Mara conflict have settled in the camp of Sortoni. “The...
Statement
MSF asks the local authorities to take immediate action to ensure protection of civilians in Leer...
Patient story
Jeanine’s story is not isolated case. It is representative of the incredible will and courage of...
Article
Worldwide, at least one in three women has experienced some form of sexual violence. It is a...
Gallery
A new MSF report “Return to Abuser” uncovers the gaps in services and systems in Papua New Guinea,...
Press release
“Return to Abuser” report uncovers the gaps in services and systems trapping women and children in...
Interview
MSF opened the first comprehensive programme dedicated to survivors of sexual violence in Port...
Crisis Update
Download the complete report (PDF): MSF South Sudan Activity Update August 2015 MSF activities in...
MSF's work with victims of sexual and gender based violence.

Pages