Desert Flower South Australia, a branch of the internationally recognized Desert Flower Foundation and located in Adelaide, South Australia, aims to offers holistic, comprehensive gynecological, urological and psychological treatment as well as reconstructive surgery for victims of FGM.
It is estimated that 200,000+ women who have undergone FGM in Australia, yet there is very little specialised medical support for women who have experienced FGM related trauma. FGM can result in a variety of ongoing reproductive and urological complications and many women are confronted not only with the short-term complications associated with FGM but long-term issues that arise when wanting to commence sexual relations or have children. The Australian Medical Association notes that FGM survivors are likely to need significant, specialised medical care, particularly during pregnancy, birth and the immediate postnatal period.
The recognition of this gap and the need to provide medical care for FGM survivors has led to the establishment of Desert Flower South Australia. The idea for Desert Flower South Australia was first initiated by Nadia Willison who dedicated her 21st birthday to raising funds for the Centre and raising awareness of FGM in Australia.
Desert Flower South Australia Centre believes access to surgery and appropriate medical care for women who have faced sexual and physical assault through FGM is a human right. Desert Flower South Australia aims to help survivors overcome the side effects of FGM by facilitating access to reconstructive surgery and psychological support services.
Desert Flower South Australia seeks to open an inclusive, stigma-free space for free-of-charge medical treatment, counselling and education of Australian women, stakeholders and communities affected by FGM.
Desert Flower South Australia plans to establish an innovative health clinic that will provide:
- Treatment of discomfort and pain, infections and complications from FGM
- Reduction of birth risks for mother and child according to FGM
- Surgical reconstruction of the female genitalia
- Psychological, social and intercultural counselling
- Peer support group for women
- Community engagement educational workshops
- No cost treatment services for affected women