Since 2015, MSF has offered medical and psychological services to victims of violence and sexual violence in Buenaventura.
Buenaventura is situated on the Colombian Pacific coast. It has gained notoriety as a city with the highest crime rates in the country, where a large part of the population is exposed to daily acts of violence including killings, shootings, extortion, kidnappings and sexual abuse.
Despite the psychological trauma this violence inflicts on Buenaventura´s inhabitants, access to mental health treatment is still extremely limited. Many victims are too afraid to seek help from existing services. To address this gap, MSF opened a psychological helpline in August 2015, offering phone counselling to victims of violence and sexual violence.