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The Panzi Model


COMPASSIONATE, HOLISTIC HEALING FOR SURVIVORS OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE

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The Panzi Model


COMPASSIONATE, HOLISTIC HEALING FOR SURVIVORS OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE

Our world-renowned four-pillar holistic healing model meets the full spectrum of needs for survivors of sexual violence. Panzi creates a safe space that supports not only women’s physical healing, but fosters their emotional recovery, helps rebuild their livelihoods, and contributes to the long-term, sustainable restoration of their communities.

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Saving Lives


WORLD-CLASS MEDICAL TREATMENT

Saving Lives


WORLD-CLASS MEDICAL TREATMENT

Endre Vestvik

Endre Vestvik

When rape is used as a weapon of war, it often involves brutal violence and the forced insertion of objects into genitalia. It may also target young girls whose bodies have not fully developed. This can cause traumatic gynecological injuries, such as fistulas between the vagina and the rectum or bladder. Women with fistulas suffer from incontinence and are unable to control the constant flow of urine and/or feces that leak from the tear. The Panzi Hospital provides reconstructive surgery for survivors of sexual violence in order to help them regain control over their bodies.

 

 

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Mending Souls


GROUNDBREAKING AND EMPOWERING PSYCHOSOCIAL SUPPORT

Mending Souls


GROUNDBREAKING AND EMPOWERING PSYCHOSOCIAL SUPPORT

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Survivors enter Panzi Hospital with signs of depression, extreme fear, eating and sleep disorders, self-shame, self-blame and self-harm. They often face social exclusion from their communities and have troubled relationships with their loved ones. Psychosocial care is integral to the healing process — it both anticipates and complements physical treatment.

As such, Panzi Foundation created Maison Dorcas to be a specialized after-care and community center. Here, survivors can take advantage of psychological interventions intended to help them feel safe again, trust others, and gain a sense of self-worth and love for their bodies.

Psychosocial services are carried out both individually and in groups. The individual component seeks to provide victims with tailor-made psychosocial support or therapy, as well as counseling with family members to prevent marginalization. The group component aims to offer complementary therapeutic services that engage survivors with others in similar situations. To do so, we offer specific programs such as drama, yoga, karate, dance, art therapy, and occupational therapy.

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GAINING INDEPENDENCE


ACCESS TO COMMUNITY REINTEGRATION SERVICES

GAINING INDEPENDENCE


ACCESS TO COMMUNITY REINTEGRATION SERVICES

Approximately 60% of the women who seek treatment at Panzi Hospital are unable to return to their home communities because of the extent of their injuries or deep societal stigma surrounding sexual violence.

At Maison Dorcas, our specialized after-care and community center, women and girls (and their dependent children) receive housing, meals, and access to ongoing therapeutic care. Our economic and community reintegration programs also support women in rebuilding their economic lives and building more stable futures. Working alongside vulnerable community members, survivors participate in 12-month training programs that include literacy and math classes, job skills training, micro-grants and –loans to support the women in launching micro-enterprises, and outreach projects to rural communities.  

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DEMANDING JUSTICE


CONNECTING SURVIVORS TO LEGAL SERVICES

DEMANDING JUSTICE


CONNECTING SURVIVORS TO LEGAL SERVICES

Enhancing women’s rights through legal assistance and representation, as well as providing forensic evidence and strengthening local capacities to prevent and monitor abuses, is critical to restoring balance and ensuring protection for survivors and their communities. The Panzi Legal Clinic helps file hundreds of complaints per year linked to sexual and gender-based violence and supports survivors with reparations kits.

The Panzi Legal Clinic works with vulnerable women and survivors of sexual violence throughout Bukavu and, through its rural clinics, in the  territories of Kabare, Kalehe, and Walungu as well, increasing the number of successful prosecutions in each. The rural clinics also play a key role in referring women in need of emergency medical care to Panzi Hospital, and referring relevant cases to our Maison Dorcas after-care center for safe shelter, support, and community reintegration services.

The Legal Clinic’s robust and dynamic public awareness initiatives have contributed to greater awareness and understanding of human rights issues and, in particular, women’s rights as enshrined by Congolese and international law, throughout the rural territories. Through persistent advocacy, our legal teams have also made significant progress in working with judicial authorities to reduce the duration of time it takes to close a case and obtain judgement.  Through meetings and one-on-one targeted discussions with legal administrators and authorities, Panzi has cut time to process certain cases in half from six to three months, and some sexual violence cases now take as little as two months.