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Somalia: Supporting GBV survivors with health and psychosocial services

Saturday October 1, 2022

Women are often silent survivors of gender-based violence. Credit: UN Somalia/F. Juez

Gender-based violence (GBV) is a violation of human rights that inflicts suffering on survivors. It is any act committed against a person’s will, which can be physical, emotional, psychosocial and sexual, and it can be expressed through deprivation of resources or access to services.

The Somalia Humanitarian Fund, through its implementing partner Somalia Young Doctors Association (SOYDA), has designed projects to provide immediate life-saving services and risk mitigation to GBV survivors in the displacement and host communities in Marka district, Lower Shabelle, Somalia.

Through the project, SOYDA provides clinical care for sexual assault survivors, case management, psychosocial support, tailored material emergency support, and dignity kits to GBV survivors and other vulnerable people. It also covers the transport costs for GBV survivors who need access to postexposure prophylaxis at different health facilities, treating each case with care and confidentiality.

An example of this support is a GBV survivor who was afraid to go to the hospital, believing that this was her destiny and no one could help her.

SOYDA case workers spoke with her about the importance of treatment within 72 hours to prevent sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy and HIV. She then agreed to go to the hospital to access support.

She explained: “I wasn’t sure to get treatment, more specifically disclosing it to anyone, but I’m grateful for the support I received. I would encourage others to also seek help if they experience the same.”

SOYDA provided case management and basic psychosocial support to 492 GBV survivors (143 girls, 341 women, 1 man and 7 boys), and it provided direct services at the Awyaale, Buufow, Hawl-wadag, Isman quule and Nuurta Taliyow internally displaced persons camps in Marka district.

The caseworkers created individual action plans for immediate medical and emotional assistance and safety plans for survivors.


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