My Body Back Project
1008. Pavan Amara
Pavan Amara, from London, founded the UK’s first sexual health clinic and maternity clinic for women who have experienced sexual violence.
Pavan was inspired to set up the clinic following her own experience of struggling to look after her sexual health due to her fears of getting flashbacks of sexual violence and PTSD symptoms when attending the doctor. After speaking to other victims of sexual violence and realising they also encountered these issues, she partnered with ‘Barts Health NHS Trust’ to launch the ‘My Body Back Project.’ The Trust’s team of specialist staff work with victims of sexual violence and provide cervical screenings and gynaecology tests that are sensitive to the patients experiences. Pavan also launched the ‘Notes of Love’ project in collaboration with 20 universities across London, encouraging students to write messages for women in rape crisis centres and letting them know they are not alone.
In a personal letter to Pavan, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“Through sheer determination you have established the UK’s first sexual health and maternity clinic for women who have experienced sexual violence. The success of the ‘My Body Back Project’ is testament to your extraordinary dedication to supporting vulnerable women and you should feel proud of everything the project has achieved.”
“When I started ‘My Body Back Project’ it was a pretty thankless task – as it is for anyone starting anything. When I set the charity up, it was outside of my full-time job, and it was very tiring. It’s lovely to receive this. It’s also great that something like Points of Light exists. There are people across the UK doing so many things that are of value to others, and that should be recognised. I think anyone who’s done anything in their free time would agree it’s very hard work, but I think they’d also agree that it is addictive seeing your dreams for the world take shape in reality.”