Sexual and reproductive health a COVID-19 priority (Statement)

Burnet Institute, 28 May, 2020

Burnet Institute is a member of a consortium of Australian-based non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and academic institutes concerned about the detrimental effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls globally.

The International Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Consortium, which includes Save the Children, Family Planning NSW, CARE Australia, The Nossal Institute for Global Health, and Médecins Sans Frontières Australia, is calling on the Australian Government to prioritise the needs of women and girls in its response to COVID-19.

Collectively, the consortium works across 160 countries to champion universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights.

It’s concerned that women and girls across the globe are struggling to access critical sexual and reproductive health care, citing evidence that COVID-19 lockdowns are likely to cause millions of unplanned pregnancies.

In the Pacific, travel to rural and remote areas have been curtailed, and physical distancing requirements have forced the cancellation of most group training on sexual and reproductive rights.

A recent UNFPA report determined that a six-month lockdown could mean 47 million women and girls globally cannot access contraception, and seven million will become pregnant.

The consortium has issued a joint statement setting out priorities to ensure Australia’s global response to COVID-19 meets the critical needs of all women and girls, including:

  • Recognise and respond to the gendered impacts of the pandemic, and the increased risk to women and girls from gender-based violence and other harmful practices
  • Improve the supply of contraceptives and menstrual health products which are being impacted by the strain and disruption on global supply chains
  • Increase flexibility in delivering sexual and reproductive health services during lockdown using innovative health delivery models such as task-sharing, tele-health and pharmacy distribution
  • Support sexual and reproductive health workers and clinics to continue delivering services sagely with access to personal protective equipment as well as training on how to refer, test or diagnose COVID-19.

 

New Resource for young LGBTIQA+ people

Victim Support Service, May 2020

The Rainbow Safety Guide is an informational wallet card that links LGBTIQ+ youth experiencing violence and abuse to online and phone resources. The Guide was made by and for LGBTIQ+ youth.


meet the artist/DESIGNER: India Potter (she/they is an Adelaide based young queer artist who does both digital and watercolour designs. Her art often portrays the queer community and aspects of LGBTIQ+ life. Both an artist and graphic designer, India created the art and designed the wallet card, taking special care to create art that was representative, colourful, but discreet enough that without the first page the Rainbow Safety Guide is less obviously a LGBTIQ+ resource.


This wallet sized Guide can be easily carried around by its user. It provides links to support services & information that may help them by:
• phone numbers
• online links
• QR codes

Due to the card’s small size it can be shared discreetly so as to not unintentionally “out” the recipient. If you are not in a position to physically give the card to someone, you can share this online link or our other LGBTIQ+ pages. The quick exit feature allows the reader to hide the page quickly if needed.

This wallet card will be valuable to services who work with youth, as well as individuals who know a young LGBTIQ+ person who they know or suspect is experiencing violence or abuse.

  • Read more at the VSS website here
  • To view or download the Rainbow Safety Guide card (PDF), click here
  • To request a physical copy email the VSS helpdesk at helpdesk@victimsa.org

 

New service providing mental health support to people of CALD backgrounds

Relationships Australia South Australia, May 2020

ASKPEACE is available to provide mental health support to people of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds living in South Australia who have been impacted by COVID-19.

The ASK Peace Project will provide a virtual service based on counselling and case management, referrals, support and advocacy services to respond to the mental health and wellbeing of CALD individuals, families and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is not necessary to speak English to access this service.

You can refer your client to this service; they also accept self-referrals.

There is no cost for the service.

New Gender Affirming Care Resource

Sexual Health Infolink (NSW Ministry of Health), 2019

As more services are beginning to provide hormonal therapies to trans and gender diverse people, the NSW Sexual Health Infolink (SHIL) has consolidated the key resources to guide best practice.

Bookmark SHIL’s Gender Affirming Care page for quick access to:

  • Clinical guidelines and patient fact sheets about hormonal therapies,
  • Specialist trans and gender diverse clinical services,
  • Counselling and peer support services,
  • Information and resources for family and friends.

The Sexual Health Infolink is a NSW Ministry of Health funded telephone and internet based information and referral service. It has been operating since 1989 and is staffed by specialist sexual health nurses.

‘My mob is telling their story and it makes me feel good’: here’s what Aboriginal survivors of child sexual abuse told us they need

The Conversation, October 22, 2019 6.00am AEDT

There are an estimated 60,000 survivors of institutional child sexual abuse in Australia. Based on the private sessions held as part of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, 15% of survivors are Aboriginal. That suggests an estimated 9,000 Aboriginal survivors. This is likely an under estimation.

Not only do Aboriginal survivors experience the trauma of institutional child sexual abuse, if they were part of the Stolen Generations, they also experience the cultural trauma from being forcibly removed from family as children because they were Aboriginal. These children were denied connection to community, country, spirituality, language and culture.

This context and its impacts today, including ongoing disadvantage and systemic racism, needs to be understood in developing healing solutions for Aboriginal survivors.

Concerns for women after SA closes two centres for surgical abortion

ABC News, 19/09/2019

Two of South Australia’s surgical abortion services have been shut down over the past 18 months, amid community concerns about the impact on women seeking care.

In January, services were relocated from the main abortion provider in the state, the Pregnancy Advisory Centre in Adelaide’s inner-western suburbs, moving all surgical abortions to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH).

SA Health is now looking at relocating the abortion service permanently to the QEH during the hospital’s redevelopment.