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

Findings from Aden, Lahj, Yemen


Sarah Ashraf , Maha Basodan , Lincie Kusters

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 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance with 73 percent requiring humanitarian assistance in 2021.

Sexual Violence, forced and early marriage of girls and female genital mutilation (FGM) already dominated the society before the conflict (Valette, 2019). As the Demographic and Health survey of 2013 showed a high acceptance rates of violence against women in Yemen before the conflict. Since the onset of the conflict in March 2015, very little information has been made available on violence against women ( UNWOMEN 2021 data) accept data on FGM/C and child marriage. Statistical data from Yemen on sexual violence is therefore very limited.

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 study in southern Yemen was to provide evidence-informed recommendations to contribute towards increasing the capacity of humanitarian actors to adequately identify and respond to the needs and uphold the rights of survivors of sexual violence with a specific focus to health including mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS).

Read a summary of the study conducted in Lahj and Aden here.