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Sexual assault victims demand mental support

Monday, December 11th, 2023 08:00 | By
Survivors of Sexual Violence Network declarations address the press. PHOTO/George Kebaso

Survivors of gender-related violations have made a raft of demands to the government; society, human rights movements and donors to come together and address gaps in the availability, accessibility, acceptability, and quality of mental health services.

This is especially for survivors of sexual violence. Their demands follow a one-month survey by Physicians for Human Rights titled: Voicing Our Plight; Using Photovoice to Assess Perceptions of Mental Health Services for Survivors of Sexual Violence in Kenya. The survey was conducted in Nairobi between October and November.

Suzanne Kidenda, a Senior Programme Officer, PHR-Kenya noted that specifically, services targeting survivors of SGBV and other vulnerable groups are minimal, exposing them to more suffering.

Findings further showed that survivors frequently reported challenges related to the quality of services being offered.

“Survivors saw challenges in the implementation of existing policies and standards ensuring quality care in their areas,” added Kidenda.

The Mental Health Amendment Act’s 2022 revisions state that survivors of sexual violence are entitled to access affordable mental health services in health facilities.

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