Netherlands: Turkish/Moroccan girls don't seek help for sexual assault

Netherlands: Turkish/Moroccan girls don't seek help for sexual assault

Turkish and Moroccan girls and young women who've experienced sexual attacks rarely seek professional help. The National Psycho-Trauma Center for Children and Youth of the UMC Utrecht announced today it will offer this group special trauma-help.

UMC Utrecht says that girls and women of those background rarely seek professional help after assault or rape, while such an experience can cause mental and physical complaints.

Since 2005 about 250 assaulted and raped girls 13-15 years old turned to the National Psycho-Trauma Center, particularly of Dutch or Western origin. None of the girls was of Turkish or Moroccan origin, though sexual violence is as common among this group. According to UMC, Turkish and Moroccan girls don't turn for help because they're afraid of disbelief, honor murder and stigmatization.

"Immigrant girls could be afraid for example that they're shame the honor of the family or even be repudiated if they say that they've been raped," says psychologist and researcher Iva Bicanic.

A teach of the National Psycho-Trauma Center will therefore visit schools, community center and mosques at the beginning of the school year in order to bring Turkish and Moroccan who've been raped to the center. "Trauma help is very important because an unprocessed experience of sexual assault can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Because of that girls can't concentrate at school any more, become dejected and take medication. But these girls need professional help, not paracetamol."

Source: Trouw (Dutch), h/t NRP

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