Sexual/Gender based violence (S/GBV) is most commonly understood as any act perpetrated against a person’s will, any act of harm or deprivation of resources, or threat of harm or deprivation of resources, that is based on unequal gender power balance.
Gender based violence is a form of human rights abuses with far reaching consequences, ranging from individuals suffering mental and physical consequences to entire communities being affected. It impacts both genders, although women and girls tend to be disproportionately affected by S/GBV. In the context of forced migration, S/GBV can be both a cause and a consequence of the breakdown of family and community structures that accompanies situations of forced migration.
In 2006, the World Health Assembly declared violence against women a “leading worldwide public health problem”. Gender-based violence against women and girls is a violation of human rights and rooted in gender inequality. Intimate partner violence, trafficking, sexual harassment, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, honour killings and infanticide are forms of the problem.
Additionally, S/GBV is frequently used during in conflict and displacement situations, as a weapon of intimidation of war, causing ruptures within communities and with grievous impact on people’s physical and mental health. Men who are subsequently victimised by S/GBV can suffer long term psychological impacts, and are less likely to seek out services and support.
Tama seeks to offer community advocacy on the matter, by way of recording known survivors, assisting with referrals towards other agencies, in an effort to create a multi-agency response, and offers outreach and training to enhance the understanding of S/GBV and enhance community support.
S/GBV also has negative consequences for people’s mental health. In that sense Tama offers interpreted support with trained psychologists and counsellors, in a comfortable and safe environment.