Newsletter. Tools when working with survivors of GBV

Newsletter No. 5 2016 Tools when working with survivors of gender based violence

15.12 2016

Dear friends and colleagues,

We all have a tool-box we use when we work with survivors, that we have acquired through our work. You as a helper are the most important tool. It is important for those who work with survivors to know how traumatic reactions may inflict on the survivor. A helper who is knowledgeable about traumatic reactions will be more sensitive to the survivors need to feel humanized and respected, especially after a serious sexual gender based violation. This knowledge of traumatic reactions can also be useful for helpers working with people affected by other types of human rights violations.

As an extraction of the main tools in our manual “Mental health and gender-based violence Helping survivors of sexual violence in conflict – a training manual” we have made a toolbox. Our intention is to provide tools and approaches that can stabilise survivors after they have been exposed to traumatising events, help them to deal with events that trigger traumatic memories, and teach them possible ways to regain control of their lives. The purpose is to give you a small sized, easy to handle sample from the manual that can be easily translated into your own language. If you in relation to your work, want to translate the toolbox, please feel free to do that crediting when appropriate. We would be delighted to post it on our GBV-manual website so that others also can make use of it.

During these last months, we have conducted a webinar pilot directed towards helpers in and around Syria related to GBV and the crisis happening right now. The webinar is recorded and if you are interested you can follow the 6 recorded sessions and answer the questions and submit your reflections. The answers will be evaluated and you can obtain a certificate for taking the training.

For your information, we are happy to announce that the manual will be available in Arabic in May 2017. We highly appreciate the work Norwegian Church Aid and Norwegian People´s Aid have put into this. Hopefully, there will also be a Russian version in 2017. We are working with the Ukrainian UNHCR regarding this. If you are interested in any of these versions, please contact us and we will put your name on our list.

We are in a process of reviewing our training manual “Mental health and gender-based violence – Helping survivors of sexual violence in conflict” for a second edition. Here is a link to an evaluation questionnaire regarding the use of our training manual. If you have received or used the manual we would highly appreciate if you could answer the following questions. It will take you less than five minutes to helps us improve the manual to become a more practical tool for workers in the field of gender-based violence. Thank you so much in advance.

Further reading that highlight different aspects of working with survivors

Women’s Access to Justice for Gender-Based Violence: A practitioner’s Guide 
Lisa Gormley, Ian Seiderman, Briony Potts and Alex Conte. International Commission of Justice, 2016.
Under international human rights law, persons who suffer violations of their human rights have the right to effective remedies and reparation for the harm they have suffered. Gaining access to justice for acts of gender-based violence is important to secure relief at the individual level, but also to promote change at the systemic level in terms of laws and practice. This Practitioners Guide seeks to assist lawyers and other human rights advocates, but ultimately it is designed to benefit the women on whose behalf lawyers and advocates act and who are seeking justice.

Handbook for Coordinating Gender-based Violence Interventions in Humanitarian Settings 
GBV AoR Global cluster protection 2010
This coordination handbook represents a key tool for all sectors of the humanitarian community to work together in the prevention of and response to gender-based violence. Drawing from and building upon a growing body of international tools and resources, it provides the most comprehensive guidelines to date on how to establish coordination mechanisms to address gender-based violence in emergencies.

Working with Gender-Based Violence Survivors Reference Training Manual for Frontline Staff 
The first-ever pan-Arab training guide on practical ways to engage men and boys in the fight to end violence against women throughout the region, titled ‘Women and Men…Hand in Hand Against Violence,’ was unveiled in Beirut at a high-level event. This training resource was developed for use in Arab countries in order to teach the knowledge, attitudes, and skills needed to promote gender equality and to prevent violence against women (VAW) through the effective engagement of men. It explores the concepts surrounding VAW, what factors are involved, and the consequences of VAW. In Arabic 

The Virtual Knowledge Centre to End Violence against Women and Girls 
is an online resource in English, French and Spanish, designed to serve the needs of policymakers, programme implementers and other practitioners dedicated to addressing violence against women and girls. The Centre is an initiative of UN Women, bringing together the valuable contributions of expert organizations and individuals, governments, United Nations sister agencies, and a wide range of relevant actors. Part of the overall effort is encouraging shared ownership of the site and ongoing partnership-building for its continuous development and sustainability.

Best practice guidelines for working with adults surviving child abuse 
Blue Knot Foundation has conducted a review of the literature pertinent to working with adult survivors of childhood trauma and abuse. Empirical studies and clinical guidelines have been considered.

Caring for Survivors of Sexual Violence in Emergencies 
IASC 2010
This workshop is designed to introduce participants to a new resource related to addressing GBV in conflict and other emergency affected contexts. The Caring for Survivors Training Pack is designed to assist all professionals who come into direct contact with survivors to understand key concepts related to GBV and apply basic engagement skills that promote the safety and well-being of survivors.

All manuals can be downloaded from the MHHRI website

There are three different manuals, which respectively address working with women, with boys and men, and with children who have experienced sexual violence.

The manuals are translated into several languages. The page numbers in each manual remain the same across languages. This allows survivors and helpers to work from copies in their preferred language and read the same content on the same pages. It also makes it easier to teach participants when participants and trainers work in more than one language. The manuals include a toolbox. Survivors can use it individually to regulate their own emotions through grounding exercises or in collaboration with a helper. Helpers can also use grounding exercises to take care of themselves as helpers.

We appreciate feedback and comments 

Welcome to our new subscribers, we hope you will find our content useful. The Mental Health and Human Rights Info Newsletter is a newsletter with the aim to provide insight on a certain subject across the scope of our work; human rights violations in war and conflict areas and mental health. Our intention is to deliver a newsletter as a short “lecture” where you can find relevant information regarding a specific subject from a mental health perspective. You will receive our newsletter 5 times a year.

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Sincerely yours,
Take care – and we are wishing you all the best.

Sincerely yours,

Mental Health and Human Rights Info