I worked many years in a research unit and I learned the importance of collecting data, and more importantly, good quality data.
I am sitting in my office at the Family Support Center after work hours and after the clinic has closed, listening to Pavarotti with my headphones and writing my report (and taking a break to write in my blog of course!).
Analyzing the numbers of patients and presenting complaints gives me a good insight in what the needs for the Family Support Center are. During the month of November we increased our outreach activities in order to spread awareness about intimate partner violence, sexual violence and the services provided at the Family Support Center.
We managed to target many more people than usual and now looking at the data I see that the number of patients has increased last month. I think this means our outreach activities have paid off, both for survivors of intimate partner violence and sexual violence. Often people do not realize that sexual violence is indeed a medical emergency that requires both medical and psychological treatment. This is something we emphasize in our awareness sessions by telling our audiences about the medical and psychological consequences of rape.
We also stress that rape survivors should seek medical treatment as soon as possible after the incident. Informing people about this may have helped increase the number of sexual violence survivors coming to our clinic this month.
Of course it is a tragedy that there are so many people facing sexual and intimate partner violence, but I am glad that even more of those who do now know about MSF and come to seek help. Helping and supporting them is what we are here for.