May 30, 2023

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In Haiti, gang rape is brutal

“Some of the abducted women did not even know how many men had raped themselves”: Judith Fadois In Haiti, the doctor admitted that he may have worked for more than six years at a clinic dedicated to treating sexual offenses. The horror of some cases.

Already undervalued by the barriers surrounding these crimes in a society considered male chauvinists, the increased brutality of Haitian gangs during some kidnappings has stunned medical teams caring for victims of sexual violence.

“In some cases, I’m talking about distortions, which are considered a substance,” testifies Dr. Fadois, head of medical operations at the MSF Center.

Although this small Caribbean country is already facing severe poverty, armed mobs have been taking control of Haiti for months.

– “Pure Torture” –

At the center of the capital, Port-au-Prince, Dr. Fadois’ team provides emergency medical care and vital psychological support to victims, but the severity of the recent violence has personally affected MSF staff.

“In October and November, it’s not easy for employees,” he said, referring to some rapes as “clean torture” by a qualified doctor, and inciting “things she (she) never thought a man could impose on another man”. .

Among the victims’ first authors, Disney Sonia Dujuste, along with three colleagues, opens up the permanence of an emergency telephone connection, secretly, continuously, and for free.

The nurse who responds to an average of two or three calls a day agrees, “We are human, we are women: there are situations that really affect us.”

“Some people have suicidal thoughts, which is why we have psychologists 24 hours a day who take it when it’s beyond our ability,” said Ms. Nurse. Dujuste mentions.

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In early November, he dialed an emergency number with the presumptive name Zephaniah.

A 24-year-old girl has been raped by two men who broke into her home in the capital’s popular district.

“I was asleep, I felt the door open. I thought it was my aunt coming back. They rushed towards me, they closed my mouth and then I lost consciousness,” his weak voice breathed quickly.

– “Keep it a secret” –

“When I came in, I was completely naked and my clothes were torn,” he recalled.

After the attack, Zephaniah plans to go to the police, but she can not find the faces of the two men, and she gives up the idea.

Getting treatment and counseling at the MSF center helps the young woman, but she still refuses to talk to those around her about this collective rape.

A week after not coming to class, she simply announced to her teachers and school friends that she was not feeling well.

“In the neighborhood, someone who has been raped suffers from labeling,” Dr. Judith Fadois testified. “So they integrate the idea that women should not talk about it if it ever happens,” laments the doctor.

In order to break this barrier and no medical organization is responsible for this aspect of public health in Haiti, MSF opened a center in May called “Pran men’m” (“Take my hand”, in Creole). 2015.

– Forced marriage –

The medical system has also identified the urgency of combating certain routine procedures.

“Especially in the provinces, the tradition is that the woman will be forced to marry the victim, or the victim’s family will be compensated financially,” Dr Fadois protested.

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To extend the medical service for sexual violence, MSF has organized training for health professionals from all hospitals in Haiti.

Judith Fadois has a chance to realize that with the culture that is considered a luxury in her country, the concept of consent is not obvious to her colleagues.

“The male doctors shouted at me, to me + but where are you from? This is not a matter for our culture, here, + ”the doctor recalled.

In six years, she could notice a slow but noticeable change in attitude towards rape.

On the other hand, the recent increase in gangs in Port-au-Prince affects this assistance to victims.

“Some say they can’t leave where they are because of the insecurity that rules there: it’s like they’re in prison,” the doctor says helplessly.