Mirabel News Oct 2013: Our Mirabel Centre

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The Mirabel Centre which officially opened on July 1, 2013 is a Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) established and managed by Partnership for Justice to provide holistic and high quality medical and psychosocial services to survivors of sexual assault and rape.

Men, women and children, who have either recently or in the past, experienced rape or sexual assault can benefit from the free and comprehensive medical, counselling and aftercare services provided by Mirabel Centre. These services are delivered to the clients in a professional and timely manner to help them overcome the trauma of rape/sexual assault.

The Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) is named after the Hermanas Mirabal Sisters (Minerva, Maria, Patria and Dede), four political activists who opposed the dictatorship of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo of the Dominican Republic. On November 25, 1960, three of the sisters (Minerva, Maria and Patria) were assassinated. In 1999, the sisters were recognized by the United Nations General Assembly, who in their honour, designated November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

OUR COUNSELING SERVICES
When a client arrives at the Mirabel Centre, an in-house professional counsellor attends to her in a calm, kind and timely manner while maintaining confidentiality and respecting the client’s choices. The client has to give her consent before she can undergo any counseling session. The Counsellor who is also the case manager writes and documents her finding, before referring the client to Mirabel Centre’s in-house nurses and doctors. She also gives the client a date for follow up visits. In addition to one on one visit, our Counsellors also engage in telephone counselling.

OUR MEDICAL SERVICES
The client must also give her consent before any medical examination takes place. The nurses and doctors carry out intensive head-to-toe examination of the clients while looking out for injuries. They collect all possible evidence for further investigation, and carry out appropriate tests that can be done within the centre. They also prescribe right medication, most of which are given to the clients free of charge at Mirabel Centre. However, some of the tests can only be done in the hospital’s laboratory such as HIV test. Our client’s are also assisted by Mirabel Centre staff to access the necessary test and medication outside the centre without further trauma and some have their bills offset by the centre.

OTHER SERVICES
Clients that visit Mirabel Centre enjoy other services. Those that need but cannot afford food, transport fare, or change of clothing are usually supported by Mirabel Centre. The Centre also networks with other agencies to give after-care support to our clients, like free legal support, and transit shelter for the clients that need such services. We also collaborate with the police, especially the Family Support Units (FSUs) and other agencies.

CONFIDENTIALITY
At Mirabel Centre, we take the issue of confidentiality very seriously. Only the case manager knows the entire story. Other staff do not have knowledge of what the client narrates to the Counsellor. Even a doctor/nurse gets just enough information to enable her effectively carry out medical examination, and write the medical report. A client’s file is securely kept, and information stored in an exclusive information system. Where a referral came from the police, the medical report is taken by our staff to the relevant police station

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