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Working Together to Address Sexual Violence on World Humanitarian Day
Photo by Kwibuka Rwanda, Flickr Creative Commons
by
Alicia Jones
on
August 19, 2016
| Trauma & Critical Incidents | Gender Concerns |

Recent reports of violence against humanitarian staff, and specifically sexual violence, have been some of the worst on record. The AP reports from the Terrain Compound in South Sudan highlighted the profound evil and the impossible dilemmas of survival presented to men and women during these attacks. We are right to question if we are doing all we can to assess the variable risks and provide for the safety and security of humanitarian staff, men and women.

We also recognize that there are many other incidents of sexual violence that are never reported. Survivors of these incidents also face impossible dilemmas as they respond to violence and grapple with difficult choices impacting their health, safety, welfare and career. We must fight for their safety and wellbeing as well.

For many years, we have listened to troubling stories regarding sexual assault of humanitarian workers. This led us to begin collecting basic data as part of our larger programmatic resilience research.  Early data results suggest that this problem is far more pervasive and debilitating than previously believed.   The Headington Institute is committed to promoting the wellbeing of all humanitarian aid and emergency response workers worldwide.  This must include addressing the problem of sexual assault impacting men, women, national and international humanitarian staff.

See here for some answers to questions about sexual assault that we are frequently asked.

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