Gender Based Violence

The Girl Has No Rights

Gender-Based Violence (GBV) – including rape, sexual assault, domestic violence, forced and early marriage, sexual exploitation and abuse, abduction, discriminatory practices within the legal system and harmful traditional practices – is a persistent and serious problem in South Sudan. GBV affects men, women, boys and girls, but it disproportionally affects women and girls.

According to data collected by the Gender-based Violence – Information Management System (GBV-IMS) in South Sudan during 2016, approximately 98% of reported GBV incidents affected women and girls. In addition to gender, age and disability can increase risks to GBV, with adolescent girls, unaccompanied children, elderly women and persons with disabilities among the populations most at risk. Gender inequality, exacerbated by decades of armed conflict, social, cultural and economic factors, is a key root cause and consequence of this human rights and public health issue. Since December 2013 the young state of South Sudan has been ravaged by internal armed conflict, increasing the need to prevent and respond to GBV through the humanitarian cluster system. Although there were brief periods of cessations in fighting in some parts of the country, conflict erupted in the capital of Juba again in July 2016.

According to data collected by the Gender-based Violence – Information Management System (GBV-IMS) in South Sudan during 2016, approximately 98% of reported GBV incidents affected women and girls. In addition to gender, age and disability can increase risks to GBV, with adolescent girls, unaccompanied children, elderly women and persons with disabilities among the populations most at risk. Gender inequality, exacerbated by decades of armed conflict, social, cultural and economic factors, is a key root cause and consequence of this human rights and public health issue. Since December 2013 the young state of South Sudan has been ravaged by internal armed conflict, increasing the need to prevent and respond to GBV through the humanitarian cluster system. Although there were brief periods of cessations in fighting in some parts of the country, conflict erupted in the capital of Juba again in July 2016.

The conflict spread to previously stable areas, including the Equatoria region. Preventing and responding to GBV in the context of armed conflict is the main concern of GBV humanitarian actors in South Sudan.
The full magnitude of the problem is unclear. However, studies indicate that approximately 65 per cent of women and girls have experienced physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime, and approximately 51 per cent have suffered intimate partner violence (IPV). Approximately, 33 per cent of women have experienced sexual violence from a non-partner, primarily during attacks or raids. The majority of girls and women experience sexual violence for the first time below age 18. The risk of child marriage remains constant due to conflict and the country’s economic situation.
The UNICEF-led Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism has recorded over 385 incidents of sexual violence against children since December 2013, which is being perpetrated by all parties to the conflict. Children comprise nearly 25 per cent of all reported cases of conflict-related sexual violence. UNICEF and partners are concerned that these numbers may be much higher.
Communities consistently cite sexual violence as the greatest protection concern for women and girls. Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) remains the most common form of GBV, which means women and girls are most at risk in their own homes, from their husbands and other family members. With severe food insecurity and economic crisis across the country, women and girls also have to walk further to forage for food, firewood and other necessities to survive, exposing them to greater risk of rape, abduction for the purposes of sexual slavery, and other forms of GBV.
Women and girls associated with armed groups who have escaped report rape and other physical abuse. Decades of conflict have created a highly militarized environment and culture of violence. This allows perpetrators of GBV to operate with greater impunity. Survivors may fear stigma or reprisals, hence do not report.
Impunity for perpetrators is also due to a weak legal system, consisting of a mixture of formal and customary laws. For women, customary laws tend to prevail, with rape cases – where reported – handled by community elders. Most cases of IPV are ignored (these are not considered illegal by South Sudanese law).

PURPOSE OF THIS STRATEGY

To create a realistic common framework to guide GBV prevention and response interventions over the short and medium term in the humanitarian context of South Sudan.

AIM
Increase access for the most vulnerable to quality, multi-sectoral humanitarian GBV services and reduce incidents of GBV through prevention and mitigation activities in South Sudan.

OBJECTIVES

  • Expand availability of the basic package of multi-sectoral GBV services
  • Build capacity of service providers and communities to deliver quality GBV services in line with best practices and minimum standards for humanitarian settings
  • Strengthen GBV prevention and risk mitigation across other humanitarian sectors and with UNMISS, including through mainstreaming.
  • Strengthen co-ordination, advocacy and collaboration at national and sub-national levels.

TARGET POPULATION/GEOGRAPHIC AREAS
According to OCHA, as of December 2016, the number of people in need in South Sudan reached 7.5 million, out of which more than 1.8 million are Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). The GBV program with other protection partners are targeting 3.07 million people (excluding refugees) to have access to a protection response, including GBV prevention and protection services.
The GBV program will focus on providing a basic package of services to the most vulnerable segments of the population in geographic areas where the population is most affected by conflict and in need, particularly in HRP priority counties and in locations of displacement outside of PoCs.

MANAGEMENT AND OPERATION OF THE STRATEGY

In order to deliver on this Strategy, the GBV Program will:

  • Advocate to donors for the allocation of financial resources for GBV prevention and response interventions in accordance with this strategy, as well as to help ensure GBV risk mitigation is mainstreamed through
    project proposals of other humanitarian sectors.
  • Provide through its GBV specialist members technical support in specialized areas in the priority locations and to national GBV service
    provision partners.
  • Support coordination mechanisms to implement the strategy at the national and field level.

In terms of Human Resources, the program will continue to support and promote the implementation of the strategy at the field level by field coordinators and Working Groups in all priority locations. It will also endeavor to ensure the availability of adequate human resources for the program to conduct information management and GBV-IMS support activities for the implementation of this strategy.

OUR DOCUMENTS

Gender Based Violence

Gender Based Violence

Gender-Based Violence (GBV) – including rape, sexual assault, domestic violence, forced and early marriage, sexual exploitation and abuse, abduction, discriminatory practices within the legal system and harmful traditional practices – is a persistent and serious problem in South Sudan. GBV affects men, women, boys and girls, but it disproportionally affects women and girls.

According to data collected by the Gender-based Violence – Information Management System (GBV-IMS) in South Sudan during 2016, approximately 98% of reported GBV incidents affected women and girls. In addition to gender, age and disability can increase risks to GBV, with adolescent girls, unaccompanied children, elderly women and persons with disabilities among the populations most at risk. Gender inequality, exacerbated by decades of armed conflict, social, cultural and economic factors, is a key root cause and consequence of this human rights and public health issue. Since December 2013 the young state of South Sudan has been ravaged by internal armed conflict, increasing the need to prevent and respond to GBV through the humanitarian cluster system. Although there were brief periods of cessations in fighting in some parts of the country, conflict erupted in the capital of Juba again in July 2016.

According to data collected by the Gender-based Violence – Information Management System (GBV-IMS) in South Sudan during 2016, approximately 98% of reported GBV incidents affected women and girls. In addition to gender, age and disability can increase risks to GBV, with adolescent girls, unaccompanied children, elderly women and persons with disabilities among the populations most at risk. Gender inequality, exacerbated by decades of armed conflict, social, cultural and economic factors, is a key root cause and consequence of this human rights and public health issue. Since December 2013 the young state of South Sudan has been ravaged by internal armed conflict, increasing the need to prevent and respond to GBV through the humanitarian cluster system. Although there were brief periods of cessations in fighting in some parts of the country, conflict erupted in the capital of Juba again in July 2016.

The conflict spread to previously stable areas, including the Equatoria region. Preventing and responding to GBV in the context of armed conflict is the main concern of GBV humanitarian actors in South Sudan.
The full magnitude of the problem is unclear. However, studies indicate that approximately 65 per cent of women and girls have experienced physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime, and approximately 51 per cent have suffered intimate partner violence (IPV). Approximately, 33 per cent of women have experienced sexual violence from a non-partner, primarily during attacks or raids. The majority of girls and women experience sexual violence for the first time below age 18. The risk of child marriage remains constant due to conflict and the country’s economic situation.
The UNICEF-led Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism has recorded over 385 incidents of sexual violence against children since December 2013, which is being perpetrated by all parties to the conflict. Children comprise nearly 25 per cent of all reported cases of conflict-related sexual violence. UNICEF and partners are concerned that these numbers may be much higher.
Communities consistently cite sexual violence as the greatest protection concern for women and girls. Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) remains the most common form of GBV, which means women and girls are most at risk in their own homes, from their husbands and other family members. With severe food insecurity and economic crisis across the country, women and girls also have to walk further to forage for food, firewood and other necessities to survive, exposing them to greater risk of rape, abduction for the purposes of sexual slavery, and other forms of GBV.
Women and girls associated with armed groups who have escaped report rape and other physical abuse. Decades of conflict have created a highly militarized environment and culture of violence. This allows perpetrators of GBV to operate with greater impunity. Survivors may fear stigma or reprisals, hence do not report.
Impunity for perpetrators is also due to a weak legal system, consisting of a mixture of formal and customary laws. For women, customary laws tend to prevail, with rape cases – where reported – handled by community elders. Most cases of IPV are ignored (these are not considered illegal by South Sudanese law).

PURPOSE OF THIS STRATEGY

To create a realistic common framework to guide GBV prevention and response interventions over the short and medium term in the humanitarian context of South Sudan.

AIM
Increase access for the most vulnerable to quality, multi-sectoral humanitarian GBV services and reduce incidents of GBV through prevention and mitigation activities in South Sudan.

OBJECTIVES

  • Expand availability of the basic package of multi-sectoral GBV services
  • Build capacity of service providers and communities to deliver quality GBV services in line with best practices and minimum standards for humanitarian settings
  • Strengthen GBV prevention and risk mitigation across other humanitarian sectors and with UNMISS, including through mainstreaming.
  • Strengthen co-ordination, advocacy and collaboration at national and sub-national levels.

TARGET POPULATION/GEOGRAPHIC AREAS
According to OCHA, as of December 2016, the number of people in need in South Sudan reached 7.5 million, out of which more than 1.8 million are Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). The GBV program with other protection partners are targeting 3.07 million people (excluding refugees) to have access to a protection response, including GBV prevention and protection services.
The GBV program will focus on providing a basic package of services to the most vulnerable segments of the population in geographic areas where the population is most affected by conflict and in need, particularly in HRP priority counties and in locations of displacement outside of PoCs.

MANAGEMENT AND OPERATION OF THE STRATEGY

In order to deliver on this Strategy, the GBV Program will:

  • Advocate to donors for the allocation of financial resources for GBV prevention and response interventions in accordance with this strategy, as well as to help ensure GBV risk mitigation is mainstreamed through
    project proposals of other humanitarian sectors.
  • Provide through its GBV specialist members technical support in specialized areas in the priority locations and to national GBV service
    provision partners.
  • Support coordination mechanisms to implement the strategy at the national and field level.

In terms of Human Resources, the program will continue to support and promote the implementation of the strategy at the field level by field coordinators and Working Groups in all priority locations. It will also endeavor to ensure the availability of adequate human resources for the program to conduct information management and GBV-IMS support activities for the implementation of this strategy.

Gender Based Violence

Gender Based Violence

Gender-Based Violence (GBV) – including rape, sexual assault, domestic violence, forced and early marriage, sexual exploitation and abuse, abduction, discriminatory practices within the legal system and harmful traditional practices – is a persistent and serious problem in South Sudan. GBV affects men, women, boys and girls, but it disproportionally affects women and girls.

According to data collected by the Gender-based Violence – Information Management System (GBV-IMS) in South Sudan during 2016, approximately 98% of reported GBV incidents affected women and girls. In addition to gender, age and disability can increase risks to GBV, with adolescent girls, unaccompanied children, elderly women and persons with disabilities among the populations most at risk. Gender inequality, exacerbated by decades of armed conflict, social, cultural and economic factors, is a key root cause and consequence of this human rights and public health issue. Since December 2013 the young state of South Sudan has been ravaged by internal armed conflict, increasing the need to prevent and respond to GBV through the humanitarian cluster system. Although there were brief periods of cessations in fighting in some parts of the country, conflict erupted in the capital of Juba again in July 2016.

According to data collected by the Gender-based Violence – Information Management System (GBV-IMS) in South Sudan during 2016, approximately 98% of reported GBV incidents affected women and girls. In addition to gender, age and disability can increase risks to GBV, with adolescent girls, unaccompanied children, elderly women and persons with disabilities among the populations most at risk. Gender inequality, exacerbated by decades of armed conflict, social, cultural and economic factors, is a key root cause and consequence of this human rights and public health issue. Since December 2013 the young state of South Sudan has been ravaged by internal armed conflict, increasing the need to prevent and respond to GBV through the humanitarian cluster system. Although there were brief periods of cessations in fighting in some parts of the country, conflict erupted in the capital of Juba again in July 2016.

The conflict spread to previously stable areas, including the Equatoria region. Preventing and responding to GBV in the context of armed conflict is the main concern of GBV humanitarian actors in South Sudan.
The full magnitude of the problem is unclear. However, studies indicate that approximately 65 per cent of women and girls have experienced physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime, and approximately 51 per cent have suffered intimate partner violence (IPV). Approximately, 33 per cent of women have experienced sexual violence from a non-partner, primarily during attacks or raids. The majority of girls and women experience sexual violence for the first time below age 18. The risk of child marriage remains constant due to conflict and the country’s economic situation.
The UNICEF-led Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism has recorded over 385 incidents of sexual violence against children since December 2013, which is being perpetrated by all parties to the conflict. Children comprise nearly 25 per cent of all reported cases of conflict-related sexual violence. UNICEF and partners are concerned that these numbers may be much higher.
Communities consistently cite sexual violence as the greatest protection concern for women and girls. Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) remains the most common form of GBV, which means women and girls are most at risk in their own homes, from their husbands and other family members. With severe food insecurity and economic crisis across the country, women and girls also have to walk further to forage for food, firewood and other necessities to survive, exposing them to greater risk of rape, abduction for the purposes of sexual slavery, and other forms of GBV.
Women and girls associated with armed groups who have escaped report rape and other physical abuse. Decades of conflict have created a highly militarized environment and culture of violence. This allows perpetrators of GBV to operate with greater impunity. Survivors may fear stigma or reprisals, hence do not report.
Impunity for perpetrators is also due to a weak legal system, consisting of a mixture of formal and customary laws. For women, customary laws tend to prevail, with rape cases – where reported – handled by community elders. Most cases of IPV are ignored (these are not considered illegal by South Sudanese law).

PURPOSE OF THIS STRATEGY

To create a realistic common framework to guide GBV prevention and response interventions over the short and medium term in the humanitarian context of South Sudan.

AIM
Increase access for the most vulnerable to quality, multi-sectoral humanitarian GBV services and reduce incidents of GBV through prevention and mitigation activities in South Sudan.

OBJECTIVES

  • Expand availability of the basic package of multi-sectoral GBV services
  • Build capacity of service providers and communities to deliver quality GBV services in line with best practices and minimum standards for humanitarian settings
  • Strengthen GBV prevention and risk mitigation across other humanitarian sectors and with UNMISS, including through mainstreaming.
  • Strengthen co-ordination, advocacy and collaboration at national and sub-national levels.

TARGET POPULATION/GEOGRAPHIC AREAS
According to OCHA, as of December 2016, the number of people in need in South Sudan reached 7.5 million, out of which more than 1.8 million are Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). The GBV program with other protection partners are targeting 3.07 million people (excluding refugees) to have access to a protection response, including GBV prevention and protection services.
The GBV program will focus on providing a basic package of services to the most vulnerable segments of the population in geographic areas where the population is most affected by conflict and in need, particularly in HRP priority counties and in locations of displacement outside of PoCs.

MANAGEMENT AND OPERATION OF THE STRATEGY

In order to deliver on this Strategy, the GBV Program will:

  • Advocate to donors for the allocation of financial resources for GBV prevention and response interventions in accordance with this strategy, as well as to help ensure GBV risk mitigation is mainstreamed through
    project proposals of other humanitarian sectors.
  • Provide through its GBV specialist members technical support in specialized areas in the priority locations and to national GBV service
    provision partners.
  • Support coordination mechanisms to implement the strategy at the national and field level.

In terms of Human Resources, the program will continue to support and promote the implementation of the strategy at the field level by field coordinators and Working Groups in all priority locations. It will also endeavor to ensure the availability of adequate human resources for the program to conduct information management and GBV-IMS support activities for the implementation of this strategy.

The overall response to GBV in relation to the levels of need remains inadequate in reach, quantity and quality. The majority of women and girls, men and boys at risk for GBV in South Sudan currently do not have access to even basic life-saving GBV services. Although collectively there are services available in each sector, a multi-sector response is not available in most locations. Prevention and risk mitigation interventions are also not sufficient. Like all humanitarian sectors in the South Sudan response, GBV actors face major constraints to delivering aid and services, including: on-going insecurity, mass displacement and population movements, the shortage of skilled staff (international and national staff, females and diversity of ethnicity and language skills), over-crowding/lack of space in the displacement sites (particularly POC sites), and logistical constraints exacerbated by the onset of the rainy season. Humanitarian aid workers, including GBV service providers, are subject to attacks and harassment by state and non-state armed actors and authorities. Facilities \where survivors receive services, including hospitals and health clinic maternity and children’s wards, have been the sites of killings, attacks and looted by armed actors. The current humanitarian response is also driven largely based on logistic constraints and demands. Space in PoCs and other areas to provide GBV services and to store commodities is at a premium, sometimes requiring lengthy negotiations with UNMISS and relevant authorities to be able to deliver. Other sectors of humanitarian response (primarily food and WASH) are prioritized for emergency logistics and response, particularly in new areas of displacement, and are not always coordinated or integrated with protection activities, including GBV. Given the direct life-saving nature of health, security and PSS GBV interventions, they should be part of a first-response package of humanitarian services. Although the GBV-IMS system is functioning in some parts of the country, the number of contributing actors is low. There is no national system for collection of GBV data and health actors do not have a standardized system for collection of GBV data Health Management Information System (HMIS)). Yet, the demand for GBV data from all sectors and actors is high, often based on misunderstandings about the interpretation and usage of GBV related data as prevalence data. GBV is under-reported due to barriers survivors and families face such as risks of physical violence, stigma, blame, discrimination, perpetrator impunity and lack of knowledge of health consequences and access to services. Under-reporting is also linked specifically to the lack of access to adequate legal/justice systems to hold perpetrators accountable, and the ways in which the legal system discriminates and could contribute to harms to the survivor (i.e. arresting survivors who report GBV). Protection (including GBV interventions) has historically been under-funded compared to other sectors in South Sudan. Post crisis, there is still limited funding in the face of the great protection (including GBV) response needs. The funding that is supplied often comes in short spurts (i.e. 3–6 month periods for projects), which is not conducive to sustainability or quality responses, and encourages GBV activities to focus on POC and other highly structured displacement sites, which is not where the majority of the population in need are located. Short term funding also affects the ability of GBV actors to engage in some types of prevention activities, such as behavioral change programming which may not be the priority in immediate emergency response, but may be necessary in this context where the humanitarian crisis and displacement patterns are protracted. In summary, the magnitude of challenges GBV actors face in delivering quality GBV services requires a common understanding of the objectives, principles and priorities outlined below.

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