Sexual violence against women by so-called Islamic state of Iraq and Syria (ISIS): protocol for a systematic review.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Violence against women and girls (VAWG) has been significantly increased by the rise of conflict and insecurity in the territories under controlling so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). This review aims to provide an understanding of the consequences of ISIS sexual violence against women. METHODS:Electronic databases including MEDLINE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, JSTOR, Web of Science, Scopus, Science Direct, ProQuest, and Google Scholar are searched for the articles published from 2014 to 2020. Then, two reviewers will systematically identify the articles which will meet the inclusion criteria. Using a standard checklist, methodological quality of articles is assessed. The findings will be summarized, and a narrative synthesis of data will be reported. DISCUSSION:This systematic review with a narrative synthesis approach will provide the important information about the gap in knowledge and detailed summary of the existing evidence on consequences of ISIS's systematic sexual violence against women. The evidence is useful for the international health organizations to plan and develop clinical guidelines with interest to reduce the consequences of sexual violence in the armed conflict territories. SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATION:PROSPERO CRD42019124215.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is a human-rights violation with adverse long-term and inter-generational consequences. Redefining VAWG as legally unacceptable is one strategy for social change. The co-occurrence of national laws against VAWG is understudied, and tools to monitor the national legal environment are lacking. We developed the Laws on Violence against Women and Girls Index (LoVI) to measure global progress to develop comprehensive national legislation against child marriage, sexual harassment, domestic violence, and marital rape. METHODS:Using data from 2016 and 2018 for 189 countries from the World Bank Women, Business, and the Law database, we used factor analysis to assess the dimensionality of the LoVI. We examined the distribution of the LoVI across countries and regions, and the relationship of national rankings on the LoVI with those for other indicators from the United Nations, Demographic and Health Surveys, and World Factbook. RESULTS:A single LoVI factor showed good model fit in the factor analysis. National LoVI rankings were positively associated with gender equality in human development and economic rights-related rankings and negatively associated with rates of justifying wife beating and of lifetime and prior-year physical and/or sexual IPV. The LoVI was not associated with national indicators for human development and income inequality. CONCLUSION:The LoVI is a concise, coherent, validated index to monitor the progress of nations on adopting comprehensive legislation to advance 2030 Sustainable Development Goal 5, to eliminate VAWG.
Project description:Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is the most common form of violence in conflict and post-conflict settings, but there are few evaluations of interventions to prevent IPV in such settings.The Women for Women International (WfWI) intervention is a year-long combined economic and social empowerment intervention for marginalized women survivors of conflict. Primarily, it seeks to support women to achieve four key outcomes: women earn and save money; women improve their health and well-being; women influence decisions in their homes and communities; women connect to networks for support. The organization recognizes Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) as a significant barrier to women's empowerment and expects to see reduction in VAWG, and specifically IPV, as part of building women's social and economic empowerment. This program is being quantitatively evaluated through an individually randomized control trial amongst women in Afghanistan, with a 24-month follow up. A comparison of baseline characteristics of participants is also included as well as a discussion of implementation of the baseline research.There is a high demand amongst Afghan women for such interventions, and this posed challenges in completing the randomization and baseline. In addition, the complex security situation in Afghanistan also posed challenges. However, despite these issues, recruitment was successfully achieved and the arms were balanced on socio-demographic measures. The evaluation will contribute to the limited evidence base on interventions to prevent IPV in conflict-affected settings.NCT03236948 . Registered 28 July 2017, retrospectively registered.
Project description:Sexual violence is highly prevalent in armed conflict and other humanitarian crises and attracting increasing policy and practice attention. This systematic review aimed to canvas the extent and impact of initiatives to reduce incidence, risk and harm from sexual violence in conflict, post-conflict and other humanitarian crises, in low and middle income countries. Twenty three bibliographic databases and 26 websites were searched, covering publications from 1990 to September 2011 using database-specific keywords for sexual violence and conflict or humanitarian crisis. The 40 included studies reported on seven strategy types: i) survivor care; ii) livelihood initiatives; iii) community mobilisation; iv) personnel initiatives; v) systems and security responses; vi) legal interventions and vii) multiple component interventions. Conducted in 26 countries, the majority of interventions were offered in African countries. Despite the extensive literature on sexual violence by combatants, most interventions addressed opportunistic forms of sexual violence committed in post-conflict settings. Only one study specifically addressed the disaster setting. Actual implementation of initiatives appeared to be limited as was the quality of outcome studies. No studies prospectively measured incidence of sexual violence, although three studies provided some evidence of reductions in association with firewood distribution to reduce women's exposure, as did one program to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeeping forces. Apparent increases to risk resulted from lack of protection, stigma and retaliation associated with interventions. Multiple-component interventions and sensitive community engagement appeared to contribute to positive outcomes. Significant obstacles prevent women seeking help following sexual violence, pointing to the need to protect anonymity and preventive strategies. This review contributes a conceptual framework for understanding the forms, settings, and interventions for conflict and crisis-related sexual violence. It points to the need for thorough implementation of initiatives that build on local capacity, while avoiding increased risk and re-traumatisation to survivors of sexual violence.
Project description:Background:Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is an urgent global health problem. Root causes for VAWG include the individual- and family-level factors of alcohol abuse, mental health problems, violence exposure, and related adverse experiences. Few studies in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) have assessed the effectiveness of psychological interventions for reducing VAWG. This randomized controlled trial, part of the What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls consortium, examines the effectiveness of a common elements treatment approach (CETA) for reducing VAWG and comorbid alcohol abuse among families in Zambia. Methods/design:Study participants are families consisting of three persons: an adult woman, her male husband or partner, and one of her children aged 8-17 (if available). Eligibility criteria include experience of moderate-to-severe intimate partner violence by the woman and hazardous alcohol use by her male partner. Family units are randomized to receive CETA or treatment as usual. The primary outcome is VAWG as measured by the Severity of Violence Against Women Scale, assessed along with secondary outcomes at 24 months post-baseline. Interim assessments are also conducted at 4-5 months (following CETA completion) and 12 months post-baseline. Conclusions:This ongoing trial is one of the first in sub-Saharan Africa to evaluate the use of an evidence-based common elements approach for reducing VAWG by targeting a range of individual- and family-level factors, including alcohol abuse. Results of this trial will inform policy on what interventions work to prevent VAWG in LMIC with local perspectives on scale up and wider implementation.
Project description:We assessed men's and women's experiences of gender based violence and other traumatic events in Côte d'Ivoire, a West African conflict-affected setting, before, during and after a period of active armed conflict (2000-2007).Cross-sectional, household survey.12 rural communities directly impacted by the Crisis in Côte d'Ivoire, spanning regions controlled by government forces, rebels and UN peacekeepers in 2008.2678 men and women aged 15-49 years.Violence exposures measured since age 15. Questions included intimate partner physical and sexual violence; physical and sexual violence by others (including combatants) and exposure to traumatic events before, during and after the Crisis period (2000-2007).Physical and/or sexual violence since age 15 was reported by 57.1% women and 40.2% men (p=0.01); 29.9% women and 12.3% men reported exposure to any violence in the past year. Nearly 1 in 10 women (9.9%) and 5.9% men (p=0.03) were forced to have sex by a non-partner since age 15, and 14.8% women and 3.3% men (p=0.00) reported their first sexual experience was forced. Combatants were rarely reported as sexual violence perpetrators (0.3% women). After the Crisis, intimate partner physical violence was the most frequently reported form of violence and highest among women (20.9% women, 9.9% men, p=0.00). Fearing for their life was reported by men and women before, during and after the Crisis.Sexual violence in conflict remains a critical international policy concern. However, men and women experience different types of violence before, during and after conflict. In many conflict settings, other forms of violence, including intimate partner violence, may be more widespread than conflict-related sexual violence. Alongside service provision for rape survivors, our findings underscore the need for postconflict reconstruction efforts to invest in programmes to prevent and respond to intimate partner violence and trauma.
Project description:Although survivors of sexual violence have shared their stories with the public on social media and mass media platforms in growing numbers, less is known about how general audiences perceive such trauma stories. These perceptions can have profound consequences for survivor mental health. In the present experimental, vignette-based studies, we anticipated that cultural stigma surrounding sexual violence and cultural preference for positive (redemptive) endings to adversity in the United States (U.S.) would shape perceptions. Four samples of U.S. adults (N = 1872) rated first-person narratives of 6 more stigmatizing (i.e., sexual violence) or less stigmatizing (e.g., natural disaster) traumatic events. Confirming pre-registered hypotheses, sexual violence trauma (versus other types of trauma) stories were perceived as more difficult to tell, and their storytellers less likeable, even when they had redemptive endings. Disconfirming other pre-registered hypotheses, redemptive (versus negative) story endings did not boost the perceived likelihood or obligation to share a sexual violence trauma story. Rather, redemptive (versus negative) story endings only boosted the perceived likelihood, obligation, and ease of telling other, less stigmatizing types of trauma stories. Findings suggest that sexual violence survivors do not benefit, to the same degree as other survivors, from telling their stories with the culturally valued narrative template of redemption. Clinical and societal implications of the less receptive climate for sexual violence stories are discussed.
Project description:There is very limited evidence on the health consequences of human trafficking. This systematic review reports on studies investigating the prevalence and risk of violence while trafficked and the prevalence and risk of physical, mental, and sexual health problems, including HIV, among trafficked people.We conducted a systematic review comprising a search of Medline, PubMed, PsycINFO, EMBASE, and Web of Science, hand searches of reference lists of included articles, citation tracking, and expert recommendations. We included peer-reviewed papers reporting on the prevalence or risk of violence while trafficked and/or on the prevalence or risk of any measure of physical, mental, or sexual health among trafficked people. Two reviewers independently screened papers for eligibility and appraised the quality of included studies. The search identified 19 eligible studies, all of which reported on trafficked women and girls only and focused primarily on trafficking for sexual exploitation. The review suggests a high prevalence of violence and of mental distress among women and girls trafficked for sexual exploitation. The random effects pooled prevalence of diagnosed HIV was 31.9% (95% CI 21.3%-42.4%) in studies of women accessing post-trafficking support in India and Nepal, but the estimate was associated with high heterogeneity (I²?=?83.7%). Infection prevalence may be related as much to prevalence rates in women's areas of origin or exploitation as to the characteristics of their experience. Findings are limited by the methodological weaknesses of primary studies and their poor comparability and generalisability.Although limited, existing evidence suggests that trafficking for sexual exploitation is associated with violence and a range of serious health problems. Further research is needed on the health of trafficked men, individuals trafficked for other forms of exploitation, and effective health intervention approaches.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is a public health problem and one of the most prevalent human rights violations in the world. Recently practitioners and researchers have taken an interest in community participation as a strategy for preventing VAWG. Despite the recent enthusiasm however, there has been little articulation of how participation in VAWG prevention programmes mobilises communities to challenge social norms and prevent VAWG. OBJECTIVES:In an attempt to help address this gap, this article seeks to answer two research questions: (1) How does participation theoretically mobilise communities to prevent VAWG, and (2) how do nominally participatory programmes make use of these theoretical concepts in their (explicit or implicit) theories of change? METHODS:To answer the first question, we draw on two well-recognised theories of participation and community mobilisation - Rifkin and Pridmore's continuum of participation and Freire's steps towards achieving critical consciousness - to clarify theoretical assumptions about how participation can mobilise community to reduce VAWG. To answer our second research question, we present the results from a review of primary prevention programmes that seek to reduce VAWG through community participation. Our analysis examines the explicit and implicit theories of change for these prevention programmes against the assumptions outlined from the theoretical literature. RESULTS:Our results help to better articulate realistic goals for community mobilisation and outline a theoretical basis for how participation as part of programming can effectively mobilise communities to reduce violence. CONCLUSION:We argue that, in order to be both effective and sustainable, the role of external agents in introducing programmes needs to be secondary to the ownership and empowerment of communities in designing and delivering their own strategies for VAWG prevention.
Project description:BACKGROUND:To update and expand on a 2012 systematic review of the prevalence and risk of violence and the prevalence and risk of physical, mental and sexual health problems among trafficked people. METHOD:Systematic review and meta-analysis. Searches of 15 electronic databases of peer-reviewed articles and doctoral theses were supplemented by reference screening, citation tracking of included articles and expert recommendations. Studies were included if they reported on the prevalence or risk of violence while trafficked, or the prevalence or risk of physical, mental or sexual health outcomes among people who have been trafficked. Two reviewers independently screened papers for eligibility and appraised the quality of included studies. RESULTS:Thirty-seven papers reporting on 31 studies were identified. The majority of studies were conducted in low and middle-income countries with women and girls trafficked into the sex industry. There is limited but emerging evidence on the health of trafficked men and the health consequences of trafficking into different forms of exploitation. Studies indicate that trafficked women, men and children experience high levels of violence and report significant levels of physical health symptoms, including headaches, stomach pain and back pain. Most commonly reported mental health problems include depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. Although serological data on sexually transmitted infections are limited, women and girls trafficked for sexual exploitation self-report symptoms suggestive of a high prevalence of infections. Limitations of the review include methodological weaknesses of primary studies and some differences in definition and operationalisation of trafficking, which hinder comparability and generalisability of the results. CONCLUSIONS:There is increasing evidence human trafficking is associated with high prevalence and increased risk of violence and a range of physical and mental health problems. Although more studies have emerged in recent years reporting on the health of trafficked men and people trafficked for forms of exploitation other than in the sex industry, further research is needed in this area. Appropriate interventions and support services to address the multiple and serious medical needs, especially mental health, of trafficked people are urgently needed.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Conflict and humanitarian crises increase the risk of both intimate partner violence and non-partner sexual violence against women and girls. We measured the prevalence and risk factors of different forms of violence against women and girls in South Sudan, which has suffered decades of conflict, most recently in 2013. METHODS:A population-based survey was conducted among women aged 15-64 in three conflict-affected sites in South Sudan: Juba, Rumbek, and the Protection of Civilian Sites (PoCs) in Juba between 2015 and 2016. FINDINGS:A total of 2,244 women between the ages of 15-64 were interviewed. Fifty percent (in the Juba PoCs) to 65% (in Juba and Rumbek) of all female respondents experienced either physical or sexual violence from a partner or non-partner in the course of their lifetimes. Approximately 35% of respondents have experienced rape, attempted rape or other forms of sexual violence by a non-partner during their lifetime. For ever-partnered women, lifetime prevalence of physical and/or sexual partner violence ranged between 54% in the Juba PoCs and 73% in Rumbek. Restrictive marital practices and gender norms, and experiences of conflict were major drivers of both partner and non-partner violence. CONCLUSION:Women and girls in South Sudan suffer among the highest levels of physical and sexual violence in the world. Although the prevalence of sexual assault by non-partners is four times the global average, women are still at greatest risk of physical and sexual assault from intimate partners. Conflict-related and intimate partner violence reinforce each other and are upheld by restrictive gender norms and marital practices. Expansion of comprehensive services, including health and psycho-social support for survivors is urgently needed. Moreover, policies and laws to prevent violence against women and provide survivors with access to justice should be given high priority within the ongoing peacebuilding process in South Sudan.