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Medical News & Perspectives
August 5, 2009

Mission to Chad Pinpoints Sexual Violence

JAMA. 2009;302(5):477-480. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1107

Their journey was unsettling from the start. First, the 3 women physicians from Boston spent a night in a brothel in central Chad when a nongovernmental organization's compound where they had planned to stay was full. The next day, an armed United Nations (UN) convoy was supposed to lead them safely to a refugee camp in eastern Chad. But the convoy raced ahead after just 15 or 20 minutes on the road, leaving them to drive unprotected in treacherous territory for several hours. Once inside the camp, an atmosphere of intimidation greeted them. Trucks bearing rocket-propelled grenades as well as men and boys carrying AK-47 assault rifles were prominent fixtures of the dry, desolate landscape.

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