Gender-based violence in Mali: medical and psychosocial care for survivors

The crisis that Mali has been experiencing for over 10 years exposes the population to a wide range of risks. The deteriorating security situation in the north and center of the country has led to an increase in incidents and human rights violations, particularly affecting women and girls. The latter are the main victims of various forms of gender-based violence (GBV), whether physical, sexual, mental or economic.

Group psychosocial support session organised by clinical psychologists from Première Urgence Internationale – © studio 360 | Première Urgence Internationale

Physical violence, emotional violence, psychological violence, denial of resources… these are the most recurrent types of GBV,” explains Salé, clinical psychologist for Première Urgence Internationale. “There are also cases of sexual violence and rape. Unfortunately, given the sensitivity of this subject, victims are often reluctant to come forward“.

Première Urgence Internationale is deploying several medical and psychosocial care interventions for survivors of gender-based violence in northern and central Mali, in the circles of Ansongo (Gao region), Bankass and Bandiagara (Bandiagara region) and Tominian (San region).

Première Urgence Internationale guarantees them quality medical care through its mobile clinics, deployed to offer free care in villages far from health centers, as well as in the health centers supported by the organization. Survivors are received confidentially and discreetly by specially trained health workers. To provide a holistic response to the needs of survivors, our teams also offer psychosocial care, with teams of clinical psychologists providing free consultations.

Individual psychosocial support session led by a clinical psychologist from Première Urgence Internationale © studio 360 | Première Urgence Internationale

Clinical psychologists play a key role in the fight against GBV. They are in charge of training health workers, identifying survivors and providing them with psychosocial care, as well as organizing discussion groups to collectively address the subject of GBV, for both women and men.

The communities in these areas are victims of very difficult situations. But health isn’t just physical – it’s also important to be mentally well. Psychosocial care is therefore very important, especially for victims of GBV. It gives them hope, confidence and the courage to speak out, and strengthens their resilience.”

The work of our mobile teams is supported by USAID/BHA and the European Union.

Find out more about the humanitarian mission in Mali.

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