Conference abstract

Minors surviving sexual violence in Port-au-Prince, Haïti

Pan African Medical Journal - Conference Proceedings. 2018:9(35).27 Aug 2018.
doi: 10.11604/pamj-cp.2018.9.35.762
Archived on: 27 Aug 2018
Contact the corresponding author
Keywords: Sexual violence, minors, Haiti
Oral presentation

Minors surviving sexual violence in Port-au-Prince, Haïti

Carl Frederic Casimir1, Marine Berthet1, Mathieu Vanhove1, Pasquale Finaldi1, Prosper Ndumuraro2, Meggy Verputten3,&, Reynold Grand Pierre4

1Médecins Sans Frontières, Operational Centre Amsterdam, Port-au-Prince, Haïti, 2Médecins Sans Frontières, Operational Centre Amsterdam, Pran Men’m Project, Port-au-Prince, Haïti, 3Médecins Sans Frontières, Operational Centre Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 4Ministry of Public Health and Population, Port-au-Prince, Haiti

&Corresponding author
Meggy Verputten, Médecins Sans Frontières, Operational Centre Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands


Introduction: sexual violence is common in Haiti, but rarely reported due to general acceptance of its occurrence, stigma for survivors, lack of knowledge of its consequences and limited services. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) supports since 2015, care for SGBV survivors in PaP in the Pran Men’m clinic (Haitian creole for “take my hand”). The aim here was to describe the characteristics of survivors and perpetrators to better understand patterns of violence and to modify care with focus on survivors less than 18 years of age.

Methods: this is a retrospective descriptive analysis of routine programmatic data of survivors attending the clinic during the first two years (25th May 2015 - 28th May 2017) of SGBV program implementation. Data was collected and analysed with Excel and Stata 12.

Results: in the first two years, MSF provided care to 1426 survivors of which 97.6% females. Most of them were survivors of rape (n=1189/83.4%). Of all survivors, 26.3% belonged to the 18 - 25 age group (n = 375) and 53.9% (n = 768) were under 18 years. Among these minors, 25% were under 10 years old (n = 191), 37% between 10 and 14 (n = 282) and 38% between 15 and 17 years old (n = 295). Minors show to be less able (58 %) to present within three days after the incident then adults (68%). Also 6.8% of the minors (n = 52) presented with an unwanted pregnancy during the first consultation. For survivors under 18, perpetrators were minors themselves (20%), multiple perpetrators were involved (20%), 31% were abused at home and 78% knew their perpetrators. This also indicates the need for multi-sectoral response as 50% of survivors were referred to protection services.

Conclusion: SV is an urgent medical and humanitarian issue in Haiti, particularly for minors and it is crucial to scale up both the medical and multi-sectoral response, in particular the protection.