“The Role of Physicians in Combating the Aftermath of Mass Rapes in Bosnia-Herzegovina”
Katherine Ryken is a third year medical student in the Carver College of Medicine with plans to pursue a residency in obstetrics and gynecology, with a focus on global health and human rights. Katie was the Fulbright Scholar to Bosnia-Herzegovina for the 2014-2015 academic year, pursuing research in post-traumatic injury and working at primary care clinics serving survivors of sexual violence during the war. She is also a certified member of Physician for Human Rights’ Asylum Network, and completed training in forensic medical services for asylum seekers.
Between 1992 and 1995, an estimated 20,000-50,000 women were raped during the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Twenty years later, victims of war rape continue to experience severe mental health disorders. A recent comprehensive study of rape survivors who have utilized non-governmental organization (NGO) services demonstrate alarming reports of chronic gynecologic problems. This lecture will discuss the role of war-related sexual violence in Bosnia-Herzegovina and examine the role of medical professionals in post-conflict societies, through documenting human rights abuses and providing clinical care for victims.