On November 9th, Sahiyo team members volunteer Zahra Qaiyumi, Programs Intern Sarah Boudreau, and Programs Coordinator Cate Cox led a training for Massachusetts based Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs). SANEs are registered nurses who have completed additional training and education to provide comprehensive healthcare to those who have experienced sexual assault. As an extreme form of gender-based violence, knowledge about and awareness of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) is integral to the care that SANEs provide.
During the event, Sahiyo provided much needed education to over 200 participants in virtual attendance. Topics discussed included defining FGM/C and its clinical consequences, the legal context of FGM/C both locally and nationally, and an interactive discussion about best practices for providing healthcare to survivors utilizing the Voices to End FGM/C digital storytelling project.
Participants were active in the discussion, recounting times when they encountered survivors of FGM/C in a clinical setting and how those interactions could have been improved. They also self-identified gaps in their own knowledge of the practice, including timing of deinfibulation in pregnancy and how to perform a pelvic exam on someone who has experienced infibulation.
Cultural humility-based training of healthcare workers who come in to direct contact with FGM/C survivors has the potential to improve the quality of life of survivors, improve access to appropriate healthcare and potentially prevent the practice in future generations. We also shared some of Sahiyo’s resources, including our Trauma Series Blogs and the Mumkin app.
As an organization, Sahiyo hopes to participate in more events like this and continue to evolve training content to fit the needs of survivors and the individuals providing them care.