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War 15:15 03 Apr 2022

Raped during occupation: what to do, what medicine to take and where to seek help

russian military officers rape women in Ukrainian territories, which are being seized. We cannot say how often and where it happens, as too many cases remain unknown. But we must talk about what can raped women do. And to demand punishment for those who did it.

Rubryka explains how to take care of physical and moral health after being raped, where to seek help and how to report a crime committed against you.

What is the problem?

You understand that someone is going to rape you

Rape is not a satisfaction of the sexual desire of a rapist. This is about pleasure from the abuse of another person. That is why it is always cruel and always traumatic.

Sexual crimes occur frequently during the war. The invaders feel better than those who have no weapons and cannot defend themselves. Now more and more stories of women, who have become the victims of rape by russian soldiers, are being brought to the public.

In the Kyiv region, an occupier went into one of the houses, shot the owner, and repeatedly raped his wife, while a little son of the woman was closed in the boiler room. This story will be the first criminal case related to rape during the war in Ukraine, which will be considered by the court. According to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, the rapist has already died, but the suspicion of his case has been announced to him.

There are dozens, maybe hundreds, or even thousands of such tragedies. The probability of suffering from such a crime is high. So knowing about safety rules is important for your life and health.

What is the solution?

Minimum resistance

Зґвалтована в окупації: що робити, що приймати і куди звернутися по допомогу

If the attacker is much stronger than you, you can't escape, you can't resist him, and you know that you can't avoid a rape, try not to resist. Your attempts to protect yourself can only further provoke him and bring even more cruelty.

"The first and most important thing to remember is that the goal of the person who has faced it is to survive. Therefore, many recommendations, which are valid in a peaceful time, are unfortunately not very suitable… In such cases, we do not need to shout and call for help.

The act of violence in wartime differs from the rape committed in peacetime. The less the resistance or active resistance is, the faster this animal will lose interest," Slava Yevtishchenko explains.

What to do immediately after being raped

Зґвалтована в окупації: що робити, що приймати і куди звернутися по допомогу

The physical state of a woman after rape depends on the level of cruelty with which it was done. There can be ruptures, injuries and hematomas. An obstetrician and gynecologist Elena Cholas says:

"As soon as you have been left in peace and there is no more threat to your life, take care of yourself and your body immediately. If you can take a shower/bath, do it. If it is dangerous (you are under occupation and there is no safe access to water) or you do not have enough strength, then using simple wet/dry napkins will be enough."

The doctor also notes that there are almost no cases when there no injuries of visceral organs after rape, so in case of bleeding, you should contact a doctor or any medical employee.

If you feel burning pain:

  • clean the perineum with the solution of clean water and soda (1 teaspoon to 1 liter of water);
  • lubricate the vagina with the ointment, Levomecol or Bepanten (do not use hydrogen peroxide in any case);
  • if possible, moisten the mucus with the same Levomecol or a lubricant on the water base (do not use Panthenol, oil-based lubricant and oil) on the second day after the rape;
  • if you have them you can also use any antiseptic candles from the second day and within 5-6 days;
  • as soon as there is a chance, please contact your doctor and check for sexually transmitted infections.

If you do not use an intrauterine device and do not take combined oral contraceptives on a permanent basis, you will also need to take care of contraception. Gynecologist Elena Cholas explains: to prevent pregnancy you need to take 100 micrograms of estradiol and 500 micrograms of levonorgestrel. Look for them at pharmacies or women who surround you with any of the following drugs:

  • 5 Novineta, "Jazz", Difenda, Mini, "Dariliya or Drospifu 20;
  • 4 Regulon, Rehutin, Marvelon, Drospif 30, Yaryna or Zhanna;
  • 1 red or yellow pill of Klaira.

A doctor notes: The first indicated dose of the pills should be taken in the first 72 hours after the rape. Take them again in another 12 hours.

How to calm down after rape

Sexual crimes bring not only physical but also complex psychological injuries. Having survived the violation over your own body, it is difficult to pull yourself together. But it is necessary to do it. A psychologist Slava Yevtishchenko explains what to do as soon as you are in relative safety.

"If possible, try to talk to or contact someone. If there is an opportunity, do not stay in the place where it happened to you. To help yourself 'unfreeze' after the rape, try to take as much care about your body as possible. If there is an opportunity, drink something warm… there are some techniques that can help you to regain control of your body after the tragedy.

The first thing is the so-called 'hugging' exercise. You need to fold your arms crosswise and hug yourself with your left hand on your right forearm or elbow, and with your right hand on your left side. Sit like this for a few minutes.

Another exercise. Bring your crossed arms to the chest. You can bring your tongue to the upper palate… Try to regain your balance with your feet, and stomp on the ground. Such exercises will help to come to consciousness on a physiological level," the psychologist advises.

Gynecologist Elena Cholas points out that women are often punished for guilt after rape, and this is especially true when a woman has an orgasm. The doctor emphasizes that this is a physiological process that we are often unable to control.

"Orgasm is an unconditional reflex in response to a certain set of sexual reactions that occur due to a certain frequency of contractions of the pelvic floor muscles, as well as stimulation of the genital area.

So, it arises out of our desire. Yes, we can stimulate its appearance, and its intensity increases with the presence of sexual stimulation, but it can occur without it. It means that orgasm can occur during the violence… it is not a reaction of pleasure, but a reaction of salvation from pain," the doctor says.

To whom and how to report the crime

Зґвалтована в окупації: що робити, що приймати і куди звернутися по допомогу

Rape must be reported to law enforcement. First, it is an act that has caused you considerable harm. Second, now it is not just a crime, but a war crime, and the punishment for it is appropriate; the rapist can be sentenced to life imprisonment. He deserved it.

What you need to do:

  • if possible, contact the hospital for help and fix the injuries;
  • if possible, report the rape to the National Police at 102, the prosecutor's office of your region, or the Regional Military Administration at the place of your stay or at the place where the crime was committed;
  • save the things you were in when you were raped, they may contain the biological material of the offender, this will help in establishing his identity;
  • if possible, take a photo or video of the crime scene, and write down the most important circumstances.

If you are in the occupied territories and do not have access to either the hospital or the police, contact the Office of the Attorney General.

Where to go for psychological or legal help:

  • National Hotline for Prevention of Domestic Violence, Human Trafficking, and Gender Discrimination: 116 123 (free of charge for mobile phones), 0800500335 (free of charge for mobile and inpatient services).
  • You can also contact the hotline through online channels: skype – lastrada-ukraine, Telegram – NHL116123, e-mail – [email protected]
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