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Mental Health Emergency Care Services
Mental health emergency care services are a necessity for women across the globe. One in three women experiences a physical or sexual violation in their lifetime. The mental health implications of sexual and physical abuse against women are staggering. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.N., “Women who experience physical or sexual abuse are twice as likely to have an abortion.” It claims “the experience nearly doubles their likelihood of falling into depression,” as well as “[makes] them more likely to acquire HIV” and “have alcohol disorders.” Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 is to “achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.” Through this Sustainable Development Goal, the United Nations seeks to end gender-based violence.

In the meantime, many women suffer under the impact of the violence they have already endured. However, there are mental health agencies, emergency care centers and programs that help women after they suffer physical trauma. Here is some information about mental health emergency care services for women.

Samburu Girls Foundation

Doctor Josephine started the Samburu Girls Foundation after rescuing her cousin from a forced marriage and subsequently saving 20 other children. Samburu now rescues at-risk girls in four different counties in Kenya: Samburu, Marsabit, Isiolo and Laikipia. Samburu Girls Foundation helps girls escape child marriage, beading and female genital mutilation (FGM). Pro-bono counselors work to provide safe living conditions and psychological help to young girls who have suffered from sexual and physical abuse. The foundation also seeks to equip the children with a valid education. This occurs through the Schools End FGM program. This program educates communities on the harm that practices such as female genital mutilation induce. Over 1,183 girls have received help from this organization.

Forgotten Women Sexual Trauma Clinic

The organization, Forgotten Women, has a sexual trauma clinic that serves over 105,000 women per year. Its clinic primarily reaches Rohingya women who experienced sexual assault. Many of these women suffer from internal tearing and infections, thousands of whom have become pregnant. Since 2017, over 900,000 people have escaped from Myanmar to Bangladesh refugee camps. Unfortunately, a change in environment has not resolved the trauma that lingers with thousands of the brutalized women. Forgotten Women’s clinic offers several mental health services, such as one-to-one trauma therapy and group counseling sessions. These are necessary services that invest in the healing and well-being of women who have endured sexual, physical abuse and trauma.

The Spotlight Initiative

The Spotlight Initiative is a collaborative effort between the United Nations and European Union. It focuses on eradicating violence against women and girls, specifically in the following areas: Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, the Pacific and Latin America. In Southeast Asia, The Spotlight Initiative provides counseling support via telephone to women in need. According to the initiative, “Since [April 2020], the hotline has received seven times the number of calls it did during the same period in 2019.” The counselors accept calls from women who are suffering from violence. They are responsible for collaborating with local authorities, and referring women to counselors when necessary and supplying legal support.

The pandemic has also worsened violent conditions for women in Mexico. The violence against women and girls (VAWG) caused a spike in phone calls to an additional 53% at the start of 2020. Through the aid of the Spotlight Initiative, alongside the support of the government and private sector, Grupo Posadas hotels now provide seven costless nights to women and children in need of protective services. After their stay, they receive direction to justice centers and other helpful resources.

Collaboration

Working alongside the United Nations on the Sustainable Development Goals is a powerful way to end violence against women and girls. Violence has increased due to the conditions that the pandemic brought on. The services provided by organizations operating under The Spotlight Initiative,  such as Forgotten Woman’s Sexual Trauma Clinic and Samburu Girls Foundation, are vital resources. They provide meaningful, mental health support emergency care services to women and girls that have already experienced violence and need help.

Hannah Brock
Photo: Flickr