Sexual and other forms of gender-based violence (SGBV) can feature heavily in conflict and post-conflict settings, as well as in crisis-affected populations. The disturbance of community/family life, social instability, increased poverty, and a sense of powerlessness can all contribute to the breakdown of social norms which govern people’s sexual behaviour.
Prevention and Response
- Care, treatment and support of survivors
- Preventing SGBV and reducing stigma and discrimination
- Strengthening collaboration and coordination with stakeholders
- Safe and ethical data collection
Sexual violence is a contravention of international humanitarian and human rights law and principles and breaches international policies, not to mention basic human morals and ethics. While men and boys can be subjected to SGBV, the term refers largely to violence against women and girls, these being particularly vulnerable groups and making up the majority of reported survivors.
Cases of sexual and gender-based violence include: systematic rapes, sexual exploitation and abuse, forced prostitution, domestic violence, trafficking, harmful traditional practices such as female genital mutilation (FGM), and forced/early marriage. The effects are devastating and far reaching, scarring both individuals and communities. Survivors can experience horrible physical and psychological trauma, along with lasting stigma and exclusion. Communities also suffer as a result of increased social tensions, divisions, and a less effective labour force.
AHA’s Program for Sexual and Gender-based Violence aims at reducing the incidence of SGBV and ensuring the wellbeing of SGBV survivors. Our services particularly target women and girls who have been subject to, or who are vulnerable to SGBV. We work across the board with different communities, refugees, IDPs, returnees and local populations, applying a multi-sectoral approach to the many challenges SGBV presents.
Our program incorporates the sectors of health, social services, security, legal, political, education and protection, in order to provide a full and holistic response. Our staffs work to raise the awareness, knowledge and skills of people throughout a community, mobilising populations to strengthen their preventative and responsive mechanisms. Participation is encouraged at every level and we work with both local and national organisations and interested parties to integrate and advocate for sustainable solutions.
AHA Activities include: medical response, psychosocial care and support, referral, safety and redress, community sensitization, training, educational workshops, awareness raising, campaigning, collaboration and co-ordination with stake holders, and safe and ethical data collection.
We look forward to extending our protection services in this field in the future and remain dedicated to working towards the care and prevention of SGBV survivors and at-risk populations throughout Africa.