From August 16-Sept. 2 Mission Manduhai made its second expedition to Mongolia to raise awareness of domestic abuse. In this second year of the mission, a group of seven Americans and Mongolians, led by Chimgee Haltarhuu traveled over 1,500km from Ulaanbaatar and visited 8 villages in 2 different provinces, in the southern part of Mongolia (the Gobi Desert). People on this trip were:
•Dr. Mic Hunter, Psychologist
•Dr. Tsetesgmaa Agvaandondov, Gynecologist
•Marjorie Sexton, Musician
•Chimgee Haltarhuu, Leader and Circus Performer
•Khureltsetseg, Social Worker and Translator
•Erdenetsogt, Representative from Healthy Family Men’s Center
The chance for free medical treatment and free entertainment were a great draw to the villages and brought many people. There was the opportunity to discuss the social problems contributing to the problem of abuse, and in many case a great dialogue was opened up.
Mission Manduhai had 1,000 buttons manufactured in Minnesota and these were given out. The two types of buttons said, “Men can stop the violence” and “The Love Never Ends,” written in Mongolian.
The handing out of over 2,000 flyers outlining the recent changes in domestic abuse laws and instructing ways to prevent abuse, including a hotline number to the National Center Against Violence (NCAV) was a tremendous success. It will help spread the word to these extremely remote places. In a more direct way, the medical treatment was able to identify an incident of spousal abuse and an incident of rape. Both of the victims were transferred to a shelter and there are court cases pending in UB.
In Dund-Gobi, and upon returning to UB, the American psychologist gave training to 28 NCAV members, psychologists and emergency workers in a new treatment called EMDR. This treatment proved to be very effective to help women in the Gobi villages.
One negative from the expedition was the problem of transportation through the Gobi. The original auto was not fit to travel; a second vehicle was found in the Gobi, but the driver deserted the expedition with the day’s pay and a tank of gas. Finally, a third vehicle was found. This was a very old Russian van, but the driver was very experienced at fixing any problems quickly and he proved to be a good driver.
A positive outcome of this mission, we were able to help a girl who was being sexually abused by her step-father and uncle after she was treated by our gynecologist. We were also able to help a woman who had just been beaten by her husband when she was treated by our psychologist. Both of these women were taken with us for protection and sent to a safe house in Ulaanbaatar. The step-father and uncle were prosecuted and convicted.