Needs of Survivors
Suitable and sustainable mechanisms are necessary to address the physical and mental health needs of the survivors of sexual violence. This may include, for example, the provision of rape crisis centres and help-lines, health services, shelters and refuges. Medical and social welfare personnel will require training in the recognition and management of the rape trauma syndrome and the acquisition of the counselling and communication skills necessary to support victims of sexual violence.
In Rwanda, WHO is collaborating with the Division of Emergency and Humanitarian Action (EHA) in addressing the particular needs of women and girls affected by violence. The project is intended to improve the accessibility of health service by training health workers and to establish a national network of health and psycho-social assistance for women. A set of training materials addressing the care and support of women affected by violence have been developed and are intended for use in other countries which are in conflict or post-conflict situations.
Sinamandla okumvimbela, Re ya mamella The Power of Resilience - Preventing Sexual Violence in South Africa
In South Africa, an innovative project is underway which is designed to explore and address a pervasive 'culture of sexual violence' which has taken root in many settlements over years of economic and political instability.
As part of the country's overall process of development and reconstruction, local residents in a number of settlements were asked to define a vision for their community. Safety was prioritised by many as a critical issue reflected in the fact that, over a twelve month period, three out of every ten women across one entire local authority, including both rural and urban settlements, reported experiencing a severe form of sexual violence (with the most vicious assaults being the least likely to be reported).
This participatory project (undertaken by ClETAfrica in collaboration with the Southern Metropolitan Local Council (SMLC) and funded by the Canadian International Development Research Centre (IDRC)), is not only documenting the extent of sexually violent behaviour, but is contributing to its primary prevention by identifying specific "resilience" factors among the large number of men who are not sexually violent.