Read about first-hand accounts from Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) aid workers and patients.

July 30, 2015

By Karen Stewart, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Very early one morning a few years ago, nine-year-old Annie appeared in the waiting area at our clinic in Lae, Papua New Guinea (PNG), clutching her mother and staring at the floor. Her mother told the registrar that Annie had not spoken a word, nor attended school, in two years. She didn’t know what was wrong with Annie and wanted her tested to find out if the child had had sex.

January 15, 2015

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) clinical psychologist Hélène Thomas carried out two assignments in Central African Republic (CAR) between April and December 2014 and opened MSF’s program of medical and psychological support for victims of sexual violence (VSV) at the general hospital in Bangui, CAR’s capital.

Again and again, she heard the testimonies of people imprisoned by violence and trauma.

June 06, 2013

After her husband was killed by the violence plaguing eastern DRC, Victorine is living among other people displaced by the strife, facing a difficult future for herself and her four children.

February 13, 2012

MSF nurse Alice Echumbe describes her experiences as supervisor at MSF's Jamaa Letu family health center.

July 03, 2011

MSF Operations Manager Katrien Coppens discusses the organization's response to yet another incident of mass rape in eastern DRC.

February 17, 2011

“I met people whose villages had been burnt to the ground by one military group or another. They had run into the bush and were living with trees over the top of them and no mosquito nets”

May 05, 2010

An interview with Melania Raga Bejarano, head nurse in the maternity ward of San Francisco Asis Hospital in Colombia’s Chocó department.

August 09, 2009

The Simelela center was set up to offer medical care, the collection of forensic evidence, counseling and follow-up care for victims of sexual violence in the rape-ravaged township of Khayelitsha. “We did a lot of work to raise awareness. We went door-to-door, held marches, and put on puppet shows for children at schools and crèches. We told them, ‘Speak up and break the silence about rape’. Married women or girlfriends who had been imprisoned in their own bedrooms told us what happened to them."

August 09, 2009

Theresa Saday, 40, is confronting the problem of sexual violence in Liberia, where she works with MSF to counsel sexual violence victims and their parents. “We meet parents on a daily basis who are unhappy that their children, who have been raped or abused, will go to the police. These parents are anxious, they are afraid for their children’s safety. So they turn to us with their concerns and for support.”

July 27, 2009

Sandra was raped by thieves who came to steal her family's savings in Bunia, DRC. They beat her father, and threatened to burn down their home if she reported them. Sandra had camped in the church for two nights, alone with no water or food, hiding from her attackers while she waited for us. The villagers had asked if she needed anything. She had told them, “No. I just want to be alone.” We treated her, diminishing her risk of catching HIV.