The Role of the Physician Advocate in Sexual Violence against Women

6 August 2017

Sexual violence against women and girls has reached catastrophic proportions in Jamaica, with rates increasing each subsequent year despite under-reporting. Between 2007-2015, the Office of the Children's Registry recorded that 15,457 cases of sexual abuse against children, 92% of all cases, were among girls. Ministry of Health's data also shows that youth are significantly affected by HIV, with girls accounting for the larger percentage of cases from the 10-29 year age range. Prevalence of HIV is four times higher in girls 15-19 years compared to boys, with the majority of cases linked to sexual violence. This article urges doctors in Jamaica to be more involved in ending gender-based violence and HIV among girls, reducing harmful stereotypes, encouraging girls' education and women's economic autonomy as well as being involved in the legislative process to ensure comprehensive health care for women and girls in Jamaica.

Read the full article online here.