Dear friends and colleagues,HHRI is proud to – finally, after 3 years of work – present our manual
a manual intended to assist helpers in their direct work with survivors of gender based violence.
Gender-based violence in war and conflict areas has for decades been a constant threat to civil society, and in particular women and children, and this form of violence has also been termed, a tool of war. Thousands of women have been affected by gross violations of their rights, including reproductive rights, and are struggling to get their lives back on track. Gender-based violence is a serious attack on the dignity of the survivor, and it strongly affects family and community as well. Different UN resolutions have over time aimed at placing these women’s lives on the agenda – that is to prevent, to stop, to hold to account those who are responsible and provide redress to survivors. And many good manuals and handbooks have been made to follow up on these objectives.
The Manual that we are now presenting addresses the trauma of rape and aims at creating an understanding of the impact that such events have on individuals, what kind of reactions a survivor may have and that these may be reactions that are frequently observed after violent events. There is also focus on reactions as being painful, strong and distressing. By following a story, practicing exercises, and being active in group work, the participants will explore understandings of trauma, and practice ways of dealing with trauma-related reactions. The exercises will offer the participants skills that are useful in their work with trauma survivors and give them an opportunity to discuss and share their experiences as helpers and their own good practices. At the same time much weight will be given to the importance of having a respectful and human rights based approach in this work. The aim is to enable helpers to apply these skills in a practical context, as well as approaches and attitudes addressed in the training. This is important regardless of whether they work with survivors over long periods of time or meet with them only briefly.
This manual is a training-manual, not a therapy manual. The training is designed for individuals who directly provide care, help and assistance to people who have been exposed to human rights violations and abuse, notably gender-based and sexual violence, and for personnel who support other care providers involved with the same survivor group.
To ensure its cultural applicability we have conducted trial-trainings of the manual in workshops in 5 different places or regions. You can read more about these workshops and our experiences on our website directly connected to the manual.
Some of you may have received the manual already, while some will find it in their mailbox soon. For others we would like to invite you to have a closer look at the manual at GBV-manual website. The manual can be downloaded directly from the webpage.
Let us know what you think. It is very important for our further work with the implementation of the manual that you let us know if you want to use it for training, group work or inspiration in your own work. Please send us an e-mail if you have queries regarding how it can be used in practice, we will be glad to provide some ideas and advice.
If you would like a free hard copy or a memory stick with the manual, please send us an e-mail with your address to firstname.lastname@example.org and we are happy to mail it to you. We hope that this manual will be a useful tool to enable survivors to regain dignity and be empowered to be in charge of their own lives.
For further information about the team that has developed the manual please click into our new GBV-manual website.