Safe consultations with survivors of violence against women and girls
October 11, 2023

Safe consultations with survivors of violence against women and girls

Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is both a cause and a consequence of gender inequality. This phenomenon can take many forms, including: domestic violence, sexual violence, including sexual harassment or rape; femicide; human trafficking; female genital mutilation; juvenile marriages; or online or ICT-facilitated violence. Violence affects women and girls throughout their lives, regardless of their income level or social status. Many women and girls who are subject to various forms of discrimination based on age, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity/race/caste, disability, health status and national origin face a greater risk of violence. VAWG produces numerous short- and long-term effects on survivors’ physical and mental health, well-being and safety.

If left unaddressed, VAWG entails serious costs and consequences for poverty reduction and development, including by hindering efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 sustainable development agenda.

This guide provides information, including practical steps, safeguards and actions that women’s organizations, government agencies and coordination structures can take, and includes the voices of VAWG survivors in systemic reform efforts through survivor consultations. Focus groups (FG) and individual interviews with survivors are often not held due to fears that this practice could re-traumatize survivors. At the same time, many of those who would like to interact with the survivors, hesitate to do so because they are not sure what questions would be appropriate and could be asked to the survivors.

Safe consultations with survivors of violence against women and girls. UNWomen, 2022


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