Françoise Duroch

Care for victims of sexual violence, an organization pushed to its limits: The case of Médecins Sans Frontières

Over the past ten years, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has provided medical care to almost 118,000 victims of sexual violence. Integrating related care into MSF general assistance to populations affected by crisis and conflicts has presented a considerable institutional struggle and continues to be a challenge. Tensions regarding the role of MSF in providing care to victims of sexual violence and when facing the multiple challenges inherent in dealing with this crime persist.

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Perspectives from the field

Since its foundation, MSF has faced different forms of violence against its patients, staff, health facilities and medical vehicles, as well as against national health systems in general. Medical practice can thus be perverted for political and martial purposes. This violence deprives entire populations of vital assistance and is a means for the parties to the conflict to exert, both symbolically and practically, their power over people’s lives.
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Résistances et appropriations institutionnelles des Organisations Non Gouvernementales autour de la notion de victimes de violences sexuelles: Le cas de Médecins Sans Frontières en République Démocratique du Congo

This article analyzes Doctors Without Borders’ (MSF) organizational transformation serving victims of sexual violence. It examines how conflicts, AIDS, and media coverage shaped the institutional environment’s resistance and motivation to change.  Using social representations of victims and ethical and technical issues MSF reconsidered its field interventions and institutional learning dynamic.

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Description and consequences of sexual violence in Ituri province, Democratic Republic of Congo

The war in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has been the subject of numerous studies related to the problem of sexual violence. Such violence is known to be part of strategic war plans to conquer and destroy communities, but it is now unfortunately prevalent in times of relative calm.

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Violences sexuelles en République Démocratique du Congo: Résistances et appropriations institutionnelles par les ONG

This work offers to analyse the learning process of the humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontière (Doctors Without Borders / MSF) around the notions of victims of sexual violence. The first part is dedicated to a conceptual and critical essay on the concepts of rape victims, in particular in the field of social sciences, as well as to an introduction to the history of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The second part of the study presents a qualitative study of one MSF’s most important intervention in Eastern DRC in favour of victims of sexual violence.

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High mortality in an internally displaced population in Ituri, Democratic Republic of Congo, 2005: Results of a rapid assessment under difficult conditions

The ongoing conflict in Ituri, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has led to more than 50,000 deaths, more than 500,000 displaced civilians and continuing, unacceptably high, mortality since 1999. In February 2005, after a resurgence of violence and further displacements, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) launched an emergency response in three internally displaced persons (IDP) camps in Ituri. We performed a rapid health assessment in April 2005 in one of the IDP camps to evaluate mortality (due to violence or disease) and camp living conditions.

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