Contraception Is Being Rushed To Ukraine Over High Reports Of Rape Amid Russian Invasion
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Emergency contraception is being rushed to Ukraine amid rising reports of rape during Russia's invasion in the country.
Warning: this article contains stories of sexual assault and rape.
The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) has sent 2,880 packets of the morning-after pill to Ukraine, with volunteers across Europe collecting the donations and taking them to Ukrainian hospitals.
The IPPF says they’re also sending medical abortion pills which can be used up to 24 weeks of pregnancy.
Julie Taft, of IPPF, told The Guardian: “The timeframe for treating victims of sexual violence is really essential.
“If a woman is seen within five days of an event, then that medication should automatically be given to her.”
The war has seen the supply chain of contraception to Ukraine disrupted, while the increased rate of sexual assault has meant methods have been in high demand.
Joel Mitchell from Paracrew, told The Guardian: “There is a demand for emergency contraception, but very rarely from hospitals in the west. It is mostly hospitals to the east, in Kharkiv, Mariupol, those regions.
“As soon as we made contact with hospitals in those regions, we had standing orders for that medication.”
During a speech to the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania earlier this month, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy claimed there had been hundreds of cases of rape since Vladimir Putin sent his troops into Ukraine in late February.
The Ombudsman for Human Rights in Ukraine, Lyudmyla Denisova, has been documenting rape cases, such as the travesty in Bucha.
She told BBC News: “About 25 girls and women aged 14 to 24 were systematically raped during the occupation in the basement of one house in Bucha. Nine of them are pregnant.
“Russian soldiers told them they would rape them to the point where they wouldn't want sexual contact with any man, to prevent them from having Ukrainian children.”
Meanwhile, the Kremlin claims no residents in Bucha suffered any violence from their soldiers.
According to Denisova, the Unicef hotline for rape and assault victims has seen 400 calls in just two weeks, with psychologists struggling to keep up with the load.
Meanwhile, the postmortem examination of bodies in Kyiv revealed that some women had also been raped before their passing.
Since Putin's forces invaded neighbouring Ukraine on February 24, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights estimates that at least 2,665 civilians have been killed.
According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, more than 5.2 million Ukrainian people have fled their home country.