The UCL Centre for Gender and Global Health
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Centre for Gender and Global Health Speaker Series

“#SmearforSmear: how gender stereotypes and sexual violence myths combine to restrict access to basic healthcare, and what can be done about it.” 

Dr Ellie Cosgrave

Wednesday 16th May, 12.30-14.00

In the Levisnsky Room, UCL Institute of Child Health, 30 Guilford St.

As part of our Speaker Series, Dr Ellie Cosgrave from the UCL's Department of Science, Technology, Engineering & Public Policy (STEaPP) will be speaking on  #SmearforSmear: how gender stereotypes and sexual violence myths combine to restrict access to basic healthcare, and what can be done about it.

Dr Cosgrave is a Lecturer in Urban Innovation and Policy at the Department of Science Technology Engineering and Public Policy and Chair of the Board of Trustees for the My Body Back Project. The My Body Back Project (MBB) supports women who have experienced sexual violence to access essential healthcare services. MBB run specialist cervical screening clinics and maternity clinics designed especially for women who have experienced sexual violence. Both of these clinics work very sensitively with women, so they feel safe, relaxed, and their individual needs are met. They also run Café V, which is a quarterly session for women to learn about loving their bodies after violence. These run on a Saturday morning, and are a safe space for those who attend to talk about enjoying sex again – by themselves or with a partner – and any problems they may be experiencing. 

 In this lecture, Ellie will explore some of the key barriers faced by survivors in accessing mainstream care and will explore how various well-intended cervical screening campaigns have been misguided and even harmful to women who are survivors of violence. She will open up a debate to help shape a more progressive approach to providing access to essential healthcare for all women and trans-men.