UK’s first maternity clinic for rape victims opens

London, July 29 (IANS) The UK’s first maternity clinic for women who have been victims of rape and sexual assault opened its doors in London, a media report said on Friday.

According to authorities, the clinic will provide extra antenatal support with specially-trained midwives, psychologists and paediatricians, BBC reported.

Co-run by Barts Health NHS Trust in London, the scheme could be introduced in other UK hospitals if successful, the authorities said.

Pavan Amara, founder of the ‘My Body Back’ project which jointly established the clinic with the Barts Health NHS Trust, has met a number of women who told her of traumatic experiences during their pregnancies.

“One woman was told by her rapist: ‘If you relax it’ll be over with quicker.’ When the woman was told the same thing in a healthcare setting, the health professional was completely unwittingly and unknowingly echoing the words of the rapist,” Amara was quoted by the BBC as saying.

“It had a huge impact on the woman mentally. It’s things like this… very small, but very big for a woman who is vulnerable.”

According to latest official figures, one in five women between the ages of 16-59 in England and Wales has experienced some form of sexual violence, BBC added.

–IANS

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