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Findings from Research on Sexual Violence in Humanitarian Settings

Over the past decades, patterns of sexual violence in humanitarian settings have been influenced by a rise in conflict, mass displacement and disruption in the rule of law. Sexual violence is a form of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) that is present in all societies. SGBV and especially sexual violence are usually exacerbated by disruption of the social fabric resulting from conflict or natural disasters.

With funding from the European Union, Save the Children International (SCI) and KIT conducted research covering sexual violence in the Borno State of Nigeria and the Aden and Lahj governorates of southern Yemen. The overall objective of the studies was to provide evidence-informed recommendations to help increase the capacity of humanitarian actors to adequately identify and respond to the needs and rights of groups affected by sexual violence.

We would like to invite you to participate in a series of three webinars, where SCI and KIT share research results from the Research for Change project: “Assessing the responses to the needs of Survivors of Sexual Violence in Humanitarian Settings in Yemen and Nigeria.”

26 April 2022

Webinar 1: Sexual Violence in Borno State, Northeast Nigeria

The research in Borno State focuses on sexual violence while situating this against a backdrop of other kinds of SGBV to generate evidence, identify good practices, and disseminate lessons. Study findings showed that the conflict and economic hardship can be linked to changes in the incidence of some forms of violence, such as sexual exploitation, early and forced marriage, and marital rape. Community and self-stigmatization of survivors had implications for the uptake of services. Medical services were relatively more widely available than legal services and livelihoods services. Recommendations focus on expanding the access of women to economic empowerment and livelihoods programming, improved integration of SGBV interventions in humanitarian and development programming and working with the community and local leaders to counter SGBV, particularly experienced by women who are marginalized.

Date: April 26, 2022

The recording of this webinar is available below.

17 May 2022

Webinar 2: Sexual Violence in South Yemen

This research on sexual violence was conducted in the Aden and Lahj Governorates of South Yemen. The study aimed to understand sexual violence in conflict-based settings while highlighting the availability and utilisation of health services among survivors of sexual violence. The research concluded that there was a large gap in resource access, particularly among preventative healthcare treatment and psychosocial services. Additionally, the findings also highlighted prominent gender disparities in reporting standards and treatment of sexual violence survivors.

Join this webinar on May 17 to capture and discuss the findings and recommendations of this study to improve sexual violence responses in humanitarian/conflict settings such as South Yemen.

Languages: English, French and Arabic.

Date: Unfortunately this webinar has been postponed.

24 May 2022

Webinar 3: Lessons learned on sexual violence research in conflict settings in times of COVID-19

This research project on sexual violence started in three countries: Haiti, South Yemen and North-East Nigeria, but was finalised in the case of Yemen and Nigeria. Save the Children and KIT will explain a number of challenges faced and the coping mechanisms used when conducting research on sexual violence in these settings. Challenges that relate to the security situation in the three countries, ethical considerations, COVID-19, methodologies used, the political situation in conflict, sensitivities around sexual violence, and the composition of the research team. In the final webinar of the series, join us to hear about the challenges and mitigation strategies and to discuss the lessons learned when conducting sexual violence research in conflict settings.

Date: May 24, 2022

A recording of this webinar is available below


  • Lessons Learned: Assessing Responses to the Needs of Survivors of Sexual Violence in Humanitarian Settings

    • Institute
    • Publication

    The research for change project is a research project focusing on assessing sexual violence responses in the context of disaster-prone and conflict areas. The project was executed by KIT Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) and Save the Children. The studies were initially planned in three different countries: Haiti, South Yemen and Northeast Nigeria. The project started […]

  • Sexual Violence in Humanitarian Settings: Nigeria, Yemen and Haiti

    • Institute
    • Project

    This project aims to increase the ability of humanitarian actors to identify and respond to the needs and rights of victims of sexual violence. It also aims to improve the availability of services for sexual violence survivors. The study will generate evidence, identify good practices and disseminate lessons learnt about sexual violence in six different […]

  • Assessing Responses to the Needs of Survivors of Sexual Violence in Humanitarian Settings

    • Institute
    • Publication

    Findings from Borno State, Nigeria Almost thirteen years have passed since the conflict in northeast Nigeria erupted into violence, killing 41,596 people,1 displacing 1.7 million, contributing to 5.1 million at risk of being critically food insecure, and putting 8.7 million in need of urgent assistance.2 The conflict has had significant gendered effects, including in terms […]

  • Research for Change: Assessing Responses to the Needs of Survivors of Sexual Violence in Humanitarian Settings

    • Institute
    • Publication

    Findings from Aden, Lahj, Yemen Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) is one of the greatest protection, human rights and public health challenges that is present in all societies and is further exacerbated during humanitarian emergencies. In Yemen a nine-year-long conflict has prompted one of the largest humanitarian crises in the world. More than 23.4 […]