A Guide for Managing Sexual Violence Against Aid Workers - Headington Institute Skip to content

A Guide for Managing Sexual Violence Against Aid Workers

Dr. Scott Grover


Sexual violence against aid workers is a growing and real problem. It is a challenge both for the individuals that face this violence and for organizations.

Aid agencies have a duty of care to respond to incidents of sexual violence against their staff. Sexual violence in all its forms violates human rights. Incidents of this kind are deeply distressing for the survivor, their family, their colleagues and the whole aid community. Sexual violence incidents also have the potential to leave survivors with significant physical and mental health problems. Organizations can help survivors of sexual violence be in a better position to recover well through proactive policies and flexible, accessible and timely resources.

The Headington Institute has supported a number of aid organizations in assessing and measuring levels of sexual violence against aid workers through psychological research. We’ve also led workshops and trainings around the world on the topic of sexual violence and helped aid workers to prepare, prevent and recover well from these incidents on an individual/personal level.

We recently partnered with the European Interagency Security Forum (EISF) to develop guidelines for organizations to manage sexual violence against aid worker staff they employ. The full report is a substantive training document and can be found here.

The guide aims to build on the growing awareness of sexual violence against aid workers to:

  • reduce the risk of sexual violence by guiding aid organizations on how to implement prevention and mitigation strategies;
  • increase the likelihood of incident reporting by guiding aid organizations on how to develop better response and feedback mechanisms;
  • aid the recovery of survivors through the sharing of good practice on immediate and ongoing care and support;
  • influence the creation of an environment and organizational culture that make sexual violence unacceptable; and
  • provide guidance for agencies on how to deal with in-house perpetrators.


The guide is broken down into action groups for your organization to address: Prevention, Preparedness, Response, and After-Care. It also presents a detailed plan for how to provide a basic standard of care for survivors of sexual violence.

Learn more by accessing the guide!

Share this post

Join our mission to support staff working in high-stress environments.