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Gender Based Violence in Emergencies

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Gender Based Violence in Emergencies

In humanitarian crises, whether caused by conflict or natural disaster, communities are disrupted and often displaced.  With this disruption comes a breakdown of some of the normal patterns of life, and a loss of safety and security.  One of the consequences of this is that the prevalence of Gender Based Violence (GBV) increases. 

On 18th February 2014, an event was held at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) in London, organized by the Humanitarian Practice Network (HPN).  This public event brought together experts in the field of GBV from a number of different organizations active in this field.  They shared their expertise and insight on subjects including:

- The emergence of good practice guidelines

- The need to set up GBV prevention and reporting programmes early in any humanitarian response to emergencies, rather than waiting until incidents of GBV were reported

- The need to address ‘Intimate Partner Violence’, as well as violence committed by strangers

- The impact of working with armed combatant groups perpetrating GBV

- The need to provide safe places for women and children in an emergency situation

- The importance of providing environments where people can report GBV safely, without being stigmatized in the wider community

- The importance of cultural knowledge and sensitivity

- The need for both specialist teams working on GBV, and mainstreaming of GBV prevention as part of the response to emergencies.

Video recordings of the talks from this session are available to view online on the ODI website here.  (Click on Audio/Video)

Two documents were launched at this event, and both can be downloaded free of charge from the ODI website:

- A Network Paper entitled ‘Preventing and responding to gender-based violence in humanitarian crises’ examines good practice in preventing and responding to Gender Based Violence in emergency situations.  It can be found here

- Issue 60 of ‘Humanitarian Exchange Magazine’ which deals with this issue includes a number of excellent articles from policy-makers and practitioners.  It can be found here.

See also the website of the GBV Responders Network, at for more on this important subject.