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First Maternity Clinic For Victims Of Rape & Sexual Assaults Opens In The UK

by Dr. Meenakshy Varier on  July 29, 2016 at 8:08 PM Women Health News   - G J E 4
The UK's first maternity clinic for rape survivors has opened to help women deal with the trauma that pregnancy and childbirth can trigger. It offers specialist support to victims of rape and sexual assault. One in five women in UK, between the ages of 16 to 59 years have experienced sexual violence in some form or other, according to the Office for National Statistics.
First Maternity Clinic For Victims Of Rape & Sexual Assaults Opens In The UK
First Maternity Clinic For Victims Of Rape & Sexual Assaults Opens In The UK
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The My Body Back maternity clinic based at the Royal London Hospital, will provide specialist gynaecological exams and mental health support, with specially trained midwives, psychologists and paediatricians.

‘For many rape victims, pregnancy, giving birth can trigger frightening and graphic memories of their attack. My Body Back maternity clinic offers specialist gynaecological examination and psychological support to the victims of rape and sexual assaults.’
The service is integrated into a regular maternity ward at the Royal London Hospital, where women will be able to self-refer to the unit, says Pavan Amara, founder of the project, which worked with Barts Health National Health Service Trust to set up the clinic. The scheme has been developed in response to comments made by rape survivors who said they experienced flashbacks of the attack. The clinic offers antenatal classes and breastfeeding advice specifically designed for women who have experienced sexual attacks. Women who are not yet pregnant can also access pre-conceptual care.

It was at the My Body Back clinics that women began revealing the difficulties that they had experienced during pregnancy and labour, even if the attack had happened many years beforehand.

"They don't have to say what happened, although they can if they want to," Ms Amara said. "We will then book them an appointment and take it from there," she added.

The team had received many international emails from women who cannot use National Health Services, she said, adding "We don't want to leave them with no option, we want to do something for them."

Ms Amara, who was raped as a teenager, waived her anonymity as a victim when she helped set up a sexual health clinic at the hospital for victims of sexual violence last August. With more than 800 women using the service since it was set up, talks are under way to open a similar unit in Glasgow.

The important thing for women who have been sexually assaulted is that they feel in control, according to Inderjeet Kaur, a consultant midwife at the Royal London. "This will promote confidence and trust so they can be open with their midwife to ensure that their experience will not trigger painful memories,' she told.

Women from across the UK are invited to contact the clinic for confidential advice and information at maternity@mybodybackproject.com.

Source: Medindia

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