Surviving sexual or other gender-based violence is the tragic reality of all-too-many (mostly) girls and women in South Sudan. Having access to a single place to handle the aftermath of the trauma and get the necessary support makes the road to recovery less painful, and that is something that residents in Wau can now count on.
“One way of protecting civilians is by supporting facilities like this one, where woman, children and men who have had been subjected to sexual and gender-based violence can receive help without being stigmatizated,” said Sam Muhumure, Head of the Wau Field Office of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, UNMISS, as the long-awaited and much-needed one-stop centre for such support was handed over to local authorities.
The construction of the centre, consisting of a reception, a laboratory, a ward, and offices for doctors, counsellors, and police investigators, was funded by the peacekeeping mission and undertaken by the local non-governmental organization Hold the Child.
Mr. Muhumure acknowledged that the infrastructure itself, even in mint condition, won’t be of much use unless local health authorities can assign qualified staff to its many different components. This need was also highlighted by Ann Daniel, Director General of the Ministry of Gender in the state.
“The number of people needing assistance is large, with survivors from other counties and even other states expected to come here,” she said, while also urging citizens suspecting ongoing cases of gender-based violence to inform the appropriate authorities.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).