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EvidenceEvidence Syntheses
Peter Caton

What Works to Prevent and Respond to Violence Against Women and Girls in Conflict and Humanitarian Settings?

This briefing paper by the Global Women’s Institute and International Rescue Committee provides an overview of the existing evidence 1) on the prevalence of violence against women and girls (VAWG) in conflict and humanitarian emergencies, 2) and promising and emerging practices to prevent and respond to VAWG in conflict settings.

Key Findings

  • According to existing systematic reviews and literature reviews in the field, the types of VAWG prevalent in conflict and humanitarian settings are not dis-similar to VAWG in non-emergency settings. Violence perpetrated by an intimate partner is the most common form of violence facing a woman in both these settings.
  • The most successful violence prevention and response programmes are multifaceted, 1) targeting the underlying unequal gender norms and practices that are particularly acute during times of crisis, such as extreme poverty; 2) programmes are applicable in conflict and humanitarian settings (e.g. camp settings, urban displacement, mobile populations etc.); 3) they actively engage all community members (not only survivors and/or perpetrators).
  • The briefing paper suggests key areas for further study: assessing effectiveness and identifying best practices for service delivery for survivors, rigorous evaluations of prevention programmes including multi-component interventions and economic empowerment programmes.
Date published
  • 2016
  • Maureen Murphy
  • Diana Arango
  • Amber Hill
  • Manuel Contreras
  • Mairi MacRae
  • Mary Ellsberg
Published by The Global Women’s Institute and International Rescue Committee