Empowering in Emergencies: A conversation with frontline responders to gender based violence
Brief summary of presentation of information made
This meeting focused on the response of Lebanon to the Syrian Refugee Crisis. The Iris Consortium on Gender Based Violence (ICGBV) shared its report “In Violence We Forget Who We Are” and what they have learned during these eight years of being in the frontline.
Around 6.3 million Syrian people have escaped their country since 2011. This was one of the biggest crises that Europe has faced.
These are some of the highlights
- 5.6 million people were forced to leave their home.
- 948,849 Syrian refugees are registered with UNHCR.
- Lebanon has hosted 1.5 million Syrian refugees and 450,000 from Palestine.
- Lebanon is considered to have the fourth highest refugee population on earth.
- People who are displaced are more vulnerable to gender-based violence
- Based on 93% of incidents that were reported in Lebanon
- During this kind of crises is important to build partnerships.
- It is very challenging to work with refugees and sometimes you do not need to compromise.
- It is important to motivate your team who is working with you.
- “Remember to advocate with vulnerable people not only for vulnerable people”
- You need to think about people’s feelings. Have on mind to no hurt anyone.
- Love what you are doing.
- Revise your policies.
- There is a lack of data about refugees from the Syrian crisis.
- You need to focus on accountability.
- Models of shelters do not work in emergency situations specially with people who suffer from GBV.
- The International Rescue Committee helps women to navigate the challenges of being refugees and how to be safe.
- Survivors of GBV would not look for help until their family’s basic needs are met.
- ABAAD is a Lebanese Center for Gender Equality
- Provides shelter accommodation for women and girls
- ‘A White Dress Does not Cover up Rape’ campaign helped to revoke the Article 522 of the Lebanese penal code in which a rapist could be exempt from punishment if he married the raped person
- In 2014, UNICEF and the Lebanese Ministry for Social Affairs developed a national plan to safeguard children and women
- Lebanon has a survivor Centered Approach
- Outreach: promotes awareness
- Needs assessment: determines which type of intervention is needed
- Non-focused psychosocial support: focuses on other activities that are not trauma responses
- Safety and risk assessments: helps victims to identify non safe and safe places in their community
- Focused psychosocial support: focuses on emotional support
- Case management: helps victims to access specialized GBV services
- Barriers faced regarding the recollection of data
- There is a lack in safeguarding people when data is collected. Many people are killed.
- How the data is interpreted.
- How to get the right information - talk to victims because they are the primary source.
- How to do a comprehensible data analysis
What was of particular significance to share with The Salvation Army globally?
It is important to understand that refugees and migration are very different topics. Refugees are displaced people who are not looking to leave their country but instead they are forced to leave their home due to war or natural disasters. As Christians, it is important to understand those differences and provide help where needed. Refugees are very vulnerable to suffer violence in places where they are living while they are waiting to be resettled. Refugees who suffer gender-based violence do not seek help immediately because they have many other ‘priority problems’ that need to be addressed. If they are mothers, they need to focus on their children’s education, food, health, etc. Often men do not want to ask for help or be seen as cowards, and they are worried about public stigmas. Maybe, we cannot solve the refugee crisis so easily and quickly, but we can make sure of including them as part of our society and specially as part of our Christian community.