Helping improve the lives of the most excluded communities

Optimizing the care journey for vulnerable women and victims of violence in Seine Saint Denis

Location of Project Seine Saint-Denis (north of Paris) and especially Seine Saint Denis Ouest and the Saint Denis maternity center
Name of Association Maternité du Centre Hospitalier de Saint-Denis (Maternity Unit in the Saint-Denis Hospital Center), with a neonatal intensive care unit, and running a unit for maternal and child health (MCH)

Issue / local context

Violence against women is a major public health problem and a serious violation of human rights. The French Women's Rights Ministry has prioritized the fight against all forms of violence against women. These abuses result in serious short- and long-term physical, mental, sexual and reproductive health problems for the victims and their children. Seine Saint-Denis is particularly concerned due to the extreme insecurity that particularly affects women migrants who suffer from administrative difficulties or who have lost social and family ties. At the Saint-Denis maternity unit, a quarter of all births are among the poorly housed, and more than 200 women a year are sheltered by the Samu Social. However, insecurity is an aggravating factor for violence. In terms of female genital mutilation, 14% of new mothers are victims of FGM.

Program description

To meet these needs, the maternity home wanted a dedicated, independent facility, with direct access from the street but backing onto the hospital in order to support these women on both the bodily level (aid for women victims of rape, excision, incest, unwanted pregnancies, marital or domestic violence) and psychological, social and legal levels.

The Maison des Femmes (Women’s House) was opened in June 2016, where Family Planning aids can work in premises inside the maternity unit, backed by medical and nursing teams that are already mostly operational.

The project's objectives

  1. Better meet the needs for aiding vulnerable patients
  2. Guarantee access to care for patients in precarious situations, particularly those not covered by common law measures
  3. Build a coordinated care journey for women who are victims of domestic violence or show signs of extremely insecure living situations
  4. Communicate and raise awareness about violence against women, primarily for healthcare professionals from the hospital and the locality, but also among students from the region’s secondary schools and the general public.