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Strengthening health systems to respond to women subjected to intimate partner violence or sexual violence: a manual for health managers.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2017. 172 p.This manual is intended for health managers at all levels of the health systems. The manual is based on the World Health Organization (WHO) guideline Responding to intimate partner violence and sexual violence against women: WHO clinical and policy guidelines, 2013. Those guidelines inform this manual and its companion clinical handbook for healthcare providers, Health care for women subjected to intimate partner violence or sexual violence, 2014. The manual draws on the WHO health systems building blocks as outlined in Everybody’s business: strengthening health systems to improve health outcomes: WHO’s framework for action..
Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], 2017. 86 p.Sexual abuse of children and adolescents is a gross violation of their rights and a global public health problem. It adversely affects the health of children and adolescents. Health care providers are in a unique position to provide an empathetic response to children and adolescents who have been sexually abused. Such a response can go a long way in helping survivors recover from the trauma of sexual abuse. WHO has published new clinical guidelines Responding to children and adolescents who have been sexually abused aimed at helping front-line health workers, primarily from low resource settings, in providing evidence-based, quality, trauma-informed care to survivors. The guidelines emphasize the importance of promoting safety, offering choices and respecting the wishes and autonomy of children and adolescents. They cover recommendations for post-rape care and mental health; and approaches to minimizing distress in the process of taking medical history, conducting examination and documenting findings.
New York, New York, UNFPA, 2015 Nov. 101 p.Gender based violence is a life-threatening, global health and human rights issue that violates international human rights law and principles of gender equality. In emergencies, such as conflict or natural disasters, the risk of violence, exploitation and abuse is heightened, particularly for women and girls. UNFPA’s “Minimum Standards for Prevention and Response to GBV in Emergencies (GBViE)” promote the safety and well being of women and girls in emergencies and provide practical guidance on how to mitigate and prevent gender-based violence in emergencies and facilitate access to multi-sector services for survivors.
New York, New York, UNFPA, 2016 Apr. 78 p.This training manual enables a journalist or other trainer to conduct a two- or three-day training workshop. The first part of the curriculum begins with training and group discussion about basic concepts and principles that will help participants develop a clear understanding of the meaning of the term ‘gender-based violence’. The programme continues with detailed information about the consequences of gender-based violence and the survivor support services needed. The trainer will also cover the causes and contributing factors, shining a light on prevention and how best to develop effective prevention strategies. The second part of the curriculum focuses on the ethical principles of reporting on gender-based violence, including what to do and what to avoid. It also includes tips for the journalists to consider during interviews and when to report on gender-based violence related issues.
Lancet. 2017 Jul 01; 390(10089):1.Add to my documents.
Responding to intimate partner violence and sexual violence against women. WHO clinical and policy guidelines.
Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], 2013. 68 p.A health-care provider is likely to be the first professional contact for survivors of intimate partner violence or sexual assault. Evidence suggests that women who have been subjected to violence seek health care more often than non-abused women, even if they do not disclose the associated violence. They also identify health-care providers as the professionals they would most trust with disclosure of abuse. These guidelines are an unprecedented effort to equip healthcare providers with evidence-based guidance as to how to respond to intimate partner violence and sexual violence against women. They also provide advice for policy makers, encouraging better coordination and funding of services, and greater attention to responding to sexual violence and partner violence within training programmes for health care providers. The guidelines are based on systematic reviews of the evidence, and cover: 1) identification and clinical care for intimate partner violence; 2) clinical care for sexual assault; 3) training relating to intimate partner violence and sexual assault against women; 4) policy and programmatic approaches to delivering services; and 5) mandatory reporting of intimate partner violence. The guidelines aim to raise awareness of violence against women among health-care providers and policy-makers, so that they better understand the need for an appropriate health-sector response. They provide standards that can form the basis for national guidelines, and for integrating these issues into health-care provider education.
WPA International Competency-Based Curriculum for Mental Health Providers on Intimate Partner Violence and Sexual Violence Against Women.
World Psychiatry. 2017 Jun; 16(2):223-224.Add to my documents.
WHO Guidelines on preventing early pregancy and poor reproductive outcomes among adolescents in developing countries.
Journal of Adolescent Health. 2013 May; 52(5):517-522.Adolescent pregnancy and its consequences represent a major public health concern in many low- to middle-income countries of the world. The World Health Organization has recently developed evidence-based guidelines addressing six areas: preventing early marriage; preventing early pregnancy through sexuality education; increasing education opportunities and economic and social support programs; increasing the use of contraception; reducing coerced sex; preventing unsafe abortion; and increasing the use of prenatal care childbirth and postpartum care. In each of these areas, the World Health Organization recommends directions for future research. The summary concludes with a brief look at global and regional initiatives that provide a window of opportunity for stepping up action in this important area.
[New York, New York], UN Women, .  p.Today, violence against women is a fact of life in communities and countries across the world. It transcends the bounds of geography, race, culture, class and religion. It ranges from intimate partner violence to the use of rape as a weapon of war, from sexual harassment in public spaces to harmful practices like child marriage. But tomorrow can be different. Societies change, sometimes very fast. Behaviours, norms and institutions that are commonplace and unremarkable in the eyes of one generation can be rejected by the next. The UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women, established in 1996, embodies the heartening awakening of global consciousness. The only multilateral grant-making mechanism exclusively devoted to supporting efforts to end violence against women and girls, the UN Trust Fund works with partners across the world to secure much-needed services for women and girls affected by violence and to invest in long-term solutions to prevent violence from happening in the first place. For fifteen years, the UN Trust Fund has supported innovative, effective initiatives designed to transform the ways in which people think and act. The brochure “Together for a Better Tomorrow” highlights the work of the UN Trust Fund and its partners, delivering on the international community’s commitment to making good on its promises to end violence against women and girls.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, .  p.The Preventing early pregnancy: What the evidence says? in Developing Countries presents the evidence to design national policies and strategies. It contains recommendations on action and research for preventing: (1) early pregnancy: by preventing marriage before 18 years of age; by increasing knowledge and understanding of the importance of pregnancy prevention; by increasing the use of contraception; and by preventing coerced sex; (2) poor reproductive outcomes: by reducing unsafe abortions; and by increasing the use of skilled antenatal, childbirth and postnatal care. These guidelines are primarily intended for policy-makers, planners and programme managers from governments, nongovernmental organizations and development agencies. They are also likely to be of interest to public health researchers and practitioners, professional associations and civil society groups. They have been developed through a systematic review of existing research and input from experts from countries around the world, in partnership with many key international organizations working to improve adolescents’ health. Similar partnerships have been forged to distribute them widely and to support their use. (Excerpt)
Inter-agency field manual on reproductive health in humanitarian settings. 2010 revision for field review.
[New York, New York]. Inter-agency Working Group on Reproductive Health in Crises, 2010.  p.The 2010 Inter-agency Field Manual on Reproductive Health in Humanitarian Settings is an update of the 1999 Reproductive Health in Refugee Situations: An Inter-agency Field Manual, the authoritative guidance on reproductive health interventions in humanitarian settings. The 2010 version provides additional guidance on how to implement the Minimum Initial Service Package (MISP) for Reproductive Health, a minimum standard of care in humanitarian response. It also splits the original chapter on HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) into two separate chapters to accommodate new guidance on HIV programming. A new chapter on Comprehensive Abortion Care has been developed to cover more than post-abortion care. The chapters on Program Design, Monitoring and Evaluation and Adolescent Reproductive Health have been placed earlier in the manual to address the cross-cutting nature of these topics. Information on human rights and legal considerations has been integrated into each of the thematic chapters to ensure that program staff can address rights-related concerns. The updated information is based on normative technical guidance of the World Health Organization. It also reflects the good practices documented in crisis settings around the world since the initial field-test version was released in 1996. The latest edition reflects the wide application of the Field Manual's principles and technical content beyond refugee situations, extending its use into diverse crises, including conflict zones and natural disasters.
[Geneva, Switzerland], United Nations, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, 2002. 5 p. (E/CN.4/RES/2002/52)Reaffirming that discrimination on the basis of sex is contrary to the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and other international human rights instruments, and that its elimination is an integral part of efforts towards the elimination of violence against women. Reaffirming the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action adopted in June 1993 by the World Conference on Human Rights (A/CONF.157/23) and the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women adopted by the General Assembly in its resolution 48/104 of 20 December 1993. Recalling all its previous resolutions on the elimination of violence against women, in particular its resolution 1994/45 of 4 March 1994, in which it decided to appoint a special rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences. Noting all General Assembly resolutions relevant to elimination of violence against women. Welcoming the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action adopted in September 1995 by the Fourth World Conference on Women (A/CONF.177/20, chap. I), follow-up action by the Commission on the Status of Women on violence against women and the outcome of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly, entitled "Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century". (excerpt)
New York, New York, Human Rights Watch, 2008 Apr. 44 p. (1-56432-302-1)Five years into the armed conflict in Sudan's Darfur region, women and girls living in displaced persons camps, towns, and rural areas remain extremely vulnerable to sexual violence. Sexual violence continues to occur throughout the region, both in the context of continuing attacks on civilians, and during periods of relative calm. Those responsible are usually men from the Sudanese security forces, militias, rebel groups, and former rebel groups, who target women and girls predominantly (but not exclusively) from Fur, Zaghawa, Masalit, Berti, Tunjur, and other non-Arab ethnicities. Survivors of sexual violence in Darfur have no meaningful access to redress. They fear the consequences of reporting their cases to the authorities and lack the resources needed to prosecute their attackers. Police are physically present only in principal towns and government outposts, and they lack the basic tools and political will for responding to sexual violence crimes and conducting investigations. Police frequently fail to register complaints or conduct proper investigations. While some police seem genuinely committed to service, many exhibit an antagonistic and dismissive attitude toward women and girls. These difficulties are exacerbated by the reluctance-and limited ability-of police to investigate crimes committed by soldiers or militia, who often gain effective immunity under laws that protect them from civilian prosecution. (excerpt)
WHO ethical and safety recommendations for researching, documenting and monitoring sexual violence in emergencies.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2007.  p.Sexual violence in humanitarian emergencies, such as armed conflict and natural disasters, is a serious, even life-threatening, public health and human rights issue. Growing concern about the scale of the problem has led to increased efforts to learn more about the contexts in which this particular form of violence occurs, its prevalence, risk factors, its links to HIV infection, and also how best to prevent and respond to it. Recent years have thus seen an increase in the number of information gathering activities that deal with sexual violence in emergencies. These activities often involve interviewing women about their experiences of sexual violence. It is generally accepted that the prevalence of sexual violence is underreported almost everywhere in the world. This is an inevitable result of survivors' well-founded anxiety about the potentially harmful social, physical, psychological and/or legal consequences of disclosing their experience of sexual violence. In emergency situations, which arecharacterized by instability, insecurity, fear, dependence and loss of autonomy, as well as a breakdown of law and order, and widespread disruption of community and family support systems, victims of sexual violence may be even less likely to disclose incidents. (excerpt)
Lancet. 2008 Jan; 371(9605):15-16.As fighting flares up in the Democratic Republic of Congo, health workers are reporting a rise in brutal sexual violence against women. But, says Wairagala Wakabi, the international community continues to pay only lip service to the crisis in the central African country. Medical workers are concerned about rising incidents of sexual brutality against women in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which are resulting in mounting rates of trauma, fistula, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Although cases of sexual violence against women have been widespread in eastern DRC over the past decade, humanitarian workers say rape is becoming more violent and more common, yet the world continues to pay only lip service to the crisis in the central African country. Reports of gang rapes, sexual slavery, purposeful mutilation of women's genitalia, and killings of rape victims are commonplace in eastern Congo, especially in the north Kivu province, where fighting has subsisted for years. (excerpt)
[Unpublished] 2004. Presented at the Conference on Gender Justice in Post-Conflict Situations, "Peace Needs Women and Women Need Justice”. Co-organized by the United Nations Development Fund for Women [UNIFEM] and the International Legal Assistance Consortium. New York, New York, September 15-17, 2004. 4 p.Unfortunately, this is extremely well documented in countries in conflict. Many of the reports submitted to the Security Council include mention of the use of rape as a weapon of war. Recently, a report of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) on the situation of human rights in Ituri provided information on this problem which is as specific as it is frightening. But, paradoxically, in countries which are not in conflict, the issue of violence against women is often neglected, where it is not concealed. But the private sphere cannot be an area where rights do not apply. (excerpt)
[Unpublished] 2004. Presented at the Conference on Gender Justice in Post-Conflict Situations, "Peace Needs Women and Women Need Justice”. Co-organized by the United Nations Development Fund for Women [UNIFEM] and the International Legal Assistance Consortium. New York, New York, September 15-17, 2004. 5 p.When wars occur, women are usually the most abused, aggrieved and powerless. In the vast majority of countries, women play no significant role in the decision-making process of whether war is warranted or lawful. When hostilities break out, women are exposed not only to the forms of violence and devastation that accompany any war but also to forms of violence directed specifically at women on account of their gender. The use of sexual violence and sexual slavery as tactics and weapons of war remains at a high level in spite of tremendous strides made by the global community over the past decade. It is imperative to acknowledge the immeasurable injury to body, mind and spirit that is inflicted by these acts. The overall deterioration in the conditions of women in armed conflict situations is due not only to the collapse of social restraints and the general mayhem that armed conflict causes, but also to a strategic decision on the part of combatants to intimidate and destroy the enemy as a whole byraping and enslaving women who are identified as members of the other warring party. (excerpt)
[Unpublished] 2004. Presented at the Conference on Gender Justice in Post-Conflict Situations, "Peace Needs Women and Women Need Justice”. Co-organized by the United Nations Development Fund for Women [UNIFEM] and the International Legal Assistance Consortium. New York, New York, September 15-17, 2004. 5 p.In 1999, I stood among a sea of 20,000 desperate people on a dirt airfield outside Skopje, Macedonia, listening to one harrowing story after another. I had come to the Stenkovec refugee camp to record those stories and to help set up a system for documenting atrocities in Kosovo. The refugees with whom I spoke described being robbed, beaten, herded together and forced to flee their villages with nothing but the clothes they were wearing. Yet, what I remember most vividly are the lost expressions on the faces of the young women and girls in the camp. At first, they did not speak a word. Their silence acted as a veil, concealing crimes that they could not emotionally recollect. However, slowly, through time and comfort in speaking to female counsellors, their stories emerged. The brutality and systematic consistency of the sexual violence perpetrated on these women were mind-numbing. The widespread practice of rape against Muslim women was more than a consequence of war, it was an instrument of war with the intent of destroying the cultural fabric of a targeted group. This experience brought home to me a truism in international and national conflict: women suffer disproportionately to the atrocities committed against civilians. (excerpt)
Integration of the human rights of women and the gender perspective: Violence against women. Violence against women, its causes and consequences. Report of the Special Rapporteur, Yakin Erturk. Addendum. Visit to the Darfur region of the Sudan.
[Geneva, Switzerland], United Nations, Commission on Human Rights, 2004 Dec 23. 6 p. (E/CN.4/2005/72/Add.5)From 25 to 26 September I participated in the first Africa Regional Consultation on violence against women with the Special Rapporteur of the African Commission on Human and People's Rights on women's rights in Africa, Angela Melo. The consultation was held in Khartoum and organized by the Geneva Institute for Human Rights, the African Women's Development and Communications Network (FEMNET) and the Babiker Badri Scientific Association for Women's Studies (BBSAWS). I took the opportunity whilst in the Sudan to undertake a short visit to the Darfur region, following allegations that women were being targeted for rape as part of the conflict, to assess the situation. (excerpt)
Integration of the human rights of women and the gender perspective. Violence against women. Report of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Yakin Erturk. Addendum. Communications to and from governments.
[Geneva, Switzerland], United Nations, Commission on Human Rights, 2004 Mar 3. 51 p. (E/CN.4/2004/66/Add.1)The Special Rapporteur wishes to inform the Commission that during the period under review she transmitted communications to the Governments of: Angola, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Greece, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, Peru, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Uruguay. In addition the Governments of Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bhutan, China, Egypt, Greece, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Israel, Mexico, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey and Uruguay provided the Special Rapporteur with replies on cases and reports submitted during the year under review, whereas the Governments of Australia, China, India, Mexico, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka did so with respect to cases submitted in previous years. This report contains, on a country-by-country basis, summaries of general and individual allegations, as well as urgent appeals transmitted to Governments, and their replies thereto. Observations by the Special Rapporteur have also been included where applicable. The names of some of the victims whose cases are presented in this report have been replaced by initials, in order to respect their privacy and to prevent further revictimization. The full names of all victims have been provided to the Government concerned. (excerpt)
Development. 2006 Sep; 49(3):82-86.Although a natural disaster does not differentiate between people, societal norms do. According to a study carried out by Oxfam International, the number of women who died in the tsunami of December 2004 considerably outnumbered men. In many places, the ratio between female and male deaths was 3:1.This difference can be directly attributed to gender roles. In many fishing villages, most of the men were not at home when the wave reached the coast. They were out with their boats and were not hit with the same brute force as the people who were staying on the coast. Or they were working in the fields and could escape climbing up trees. In contrast, women mostly stayed inside or around their houses and the first thing they did when the wave reached was to try to save the lives of children and old people. Life-saving skills such as swimming or climbing up a tree are not deemed seemly for girls. Traditional clothing such as the 'Kain Sarong' worn in Aceh limits the freedom of movement of women and girls. (excerpt)
UN Chronicle. 2006;  p..In June 2004, six fighters from the Congolese Rally for Democracy-Goma gang-raped a woman in the presence of her husband and children, while another soldier raped her three-year-old daughter, according to Human Rights Watch. In June 2005, a 17-year-old boy was arrested by a Mai-Mai officer after he refused to draw water for the military stationed there and was severely tortured while he was held in detention in the camp. A local non-governmental organization (NGO) reported that the boy was released only after a large fine was paid. In November 2005, three soldiers from the United Congolese forces tied an 11-year-old girl with an electric cable and repeatedly raped her in a military camp, according to the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC). These cases are examples of the brutal violations against Congolese children, as documented by the Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict in its April 2006 report, Struggling to Survive: Children in Armed Conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The country continues to endure the world's deadliest humanitarian crisis and, according to the International Rescue Committee, more than 38,000 people die every month as a direct and indirect consequence of the armed conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). As many as 45 per cent of these deaths occurred among children who fell victim to intolerable human rights violations committed in an atmosphere of almost complete impunity. (excerpt)
Forced Migration Review. 2007 Jan; (27):48-49.Conflict and massive population movements in Burundi have resulted in dramatic increases in rape and other forms of sexual violence. Alarm about the high incidence of sexual violence against Burundian women was first sounded during the 1993-2003 civil war when large numbers of rebels and Burundian armed forces occupied villages and towns. Peace accords were finally signed in 2003, and general elections held in 2005, but Burundian women and girls continue to suffer high levels of sexual violence. In postconflict Burundi, the influx of returning refugees and displaced persons, the presence of large numbers of demobilised excombatants, the high prevalence of female-headed households, widespread lack of economic opportunity and general breakdown in social norms all contribute to increased levels of sexual violence. (excerpt)
Forced Migration Review. 2007 Jan; (27):39.Decades of under-development and conflict have left South Sudanese women - in the words of the late John Garang - "the poorest of the poor and the marginalised of the marginalised." It is in this context that violence against women and girls breeds. Almost all southern Sudan's key development indicators are the lowest in the world. Severe gender disparity is manifest in access to education and health and differential life expectancy. Only 5% of births are attended by skilled health staff and maternal mortality is high. In contrast to common demographic patterns around the world, and in spite of the impact of war on the male population, there are more elderly men than women. Few reputable gender-based violence (GBV) studies have been carried out in southern Sudan. Studies may have been limited in terms of sample size and statistical analysis but, nevertheless, have produced evidence of extensive domestic violence, early/forced marriages, wife inheritance, property ownership, child custody, arbitrary incarceration, female genital mutilation and sexual harassment and assault. Prolonged conflict has exacerbated and created new security risks, especially for women and children. These include disruption of community and family structures, breakdown in conflict resolution mechanisms, presence of arms and vigilantes, prevalent trauma, increased alcohol consumption, weak security institutions, poor law and order and tensions between those who have been displaced and those who have stayed put. (excerpt)
Forced Migration Review. 2007 Jan; (27):42-43.The following is extracted by the FMR editors from a recent UNFPA/UNICEF report on The Effects of Conflict on Health and Well-Being of Women and Girls in Darfur: Conversations with the Community. How do the women and girls of Darfur assess the risks they face? UNFPA and UNICEF interviewed conflict-affected women and their male household members in order to better understand priority actions needed to improve women and girls' health and well-being. The counter-insurgency strategy employed by the Government of Sudan and the Janjaweed militia appears to have been one of asset stripping and population displacement. Indiscriminate attacks on villages have not only killed and injured civilians but also destroyed or looted housing, infrastructure, community services, wells and irrigation systems, fruit trees and other property such as cattle. The result has been the large-scale movement of a highly vulnerable, traumatised population of 2.75 million people, rendered almost completely dependent on humanitarian aid for survival. (excerpt)