Maria Clara was detained in a mental health hospital. She had self-injured and had a major wound on her neck. It had been treated and bandaged but she had attempted to re-open the wound. The staff at the hospital had agreed that the woman needed to be restrained due to the high risk of the wound re-opening. The hospital used restraints to prevent her from re-opening the wound but two male staff applied these restraints. Maria Clara found it very distressing to be restrained by men.

Maria Clara told her advocate that she was experiencing flashbacks which she believed were due to the two male staff carrying out the restraints. The advocate spoke to the hospital staff and raised this as a human rights issue. As a result the hospital agreed to only use female members of staff to restrain Maria Clara, to allow her wound to heal.

Example from BIHR’s protect Care and Support: A Human Rights Approach to Advocacy