Sexual and gender-based violence

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Sexual and gender-based violence

Sexual and gender-based violence is a medical emergency. It shatters millions of lives around the globe and can occur in any society at any time, but is often worsened by unstable situations such as armed conflicts.

The term ‘sexual and gender-based violence’ covers many different acts, ranging from rape to genital mutilation. In conflict, rape is often used as a weapon, as a form of torture, and in some cases as a strategy to spread HIV/AIDS within a community.

Survivors of sexual and gender-based violence may be left with physical injuries, psychological trauma, and the risk of sexually transmitted infections. Unintended pregnancies as a result of sexual and gender based violence can mean higher rates of abortion – which, when performed in unsafe environments, can have further impacts on reproductive health.

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