In many ways, researching violence against women is similar to researching other sensitive topics. There are issues of confidentiality, problems of disclosure, and the need to ensure adequate and informed consent. As the previous quote from an interviewer illustrates, however, there are aspects of gender-based violence research that transcend those in other areas becauseof the potentially threatening and traumatic nature of the subject matter. In the case of violence, the safety and even the lives of women respondents and interviewers may be at risk .
The sensitive nature of research on VAW requires special ethical and safety considerations. For example, how can researchers safely approach selection, recruitment and follow-up of participants in a study to evaluate the outcomes and impacts of an intervention to prevent violence? How do researchers address randomization of participants into control or intervention arms? How do researchers monitor and manage risk of violence from participation in the intervention? And what additional protections should be put in place when the research involves populations requiring special considerations, such as pregnant women?
WHO Ethical and safety recommendations for researching, documenting and monitoring sexual violence in emergencies
World Health Organization
Ethics can be defined as a system or code of moral values that provides rules and standards of conduct. The three primary ethical principles that should guide all inquiries involving human beings (including methods used to collect information) are as follows: 1) Respect for persons, which relates to respecting the autonomy and self-determination of participants, and protecting those who lack autonomy, including by providing security from harm or abuse.
This guideline provides recommendations aimed primarily at front-line health-care providers (e.g. general practitioners, nurses, paediatricians, gynaecologists) providing care to children, including adolescents up to the age of 18 years, who have, or may have, experienced sexual abuse, including sexual assault or rape. It can also be useful for other cadres of specialist healthcare providers who are likely to see children or adolescents.
Effectiveness of a brief behavioural intervention on psychological distress among women with a history of gender-based violence in urban Kenya: A randomised clinical trial
R.A. Bryant et al., 2017
Gender-based violence (GBV) represents a major cause of psychological morbidity worldwide, and particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Although there are effective treatments for common mental disorders associated with GBV, they typically require lengthy treatment programs that may limit scaling up in LMICs. The aim of this study was to test the effectiveness of a new 5-session behavioural treatment called Problem Management Plus (PM+) that lay community workers can be taught to deliver
gender based violence mental health post-traumatic stress disorder psychiatric diagnosis psychiatric illness psychosocial intervention sexual violence survivor of GBV therapy trauma treatment violence women
L. Stemple, Program for the Study of Sexuality, Gender, Health and Human Rights, Columbia University.
For the last few decades, the prevailing approach to sexual violence in international human rights instruments has focused virtually exclusively on the abuse of women and girls. In the meantime, men have been abused and sexually humiliated during situations of armed conflict. Childhood sexual abuse of boys is alarmingly common.
Meg McMahon, Legal Aid Board
Sexual violence against men has garnered increasing publicity in recent years but still remains extremely under-researched and under-reported. This paper will examine the challenges facing male victims of sexual violence. The paper will look at the broad international framework, including definitions of sexual violence and international jurisprudence in the area as well as generally looking at how the term sexual or gender based violence has come to be associated with violence against women (webpage).
Katie, Nguyen, Thomson Reuters Foundation. May, 2014
Sexual violence against men is one of the least told aspects of war. Yet men and boys are victims too of abuse that is frequently more effective at destroying lives and tearing communities apart than guns alone. It can take the form of anal and oral rape, genital torture, castration, gang rape, sexual slavery and the forced rape of others. It is so taboo that few survivors have the courage to tell their story. Besides feeling ashamed and afraid of being ostracised, many victims dare not challenge powerful myths about male rape in their cultures, experts say. A common belief is that a man who is raped becomes a woman.
C. Anderson, American
Common Types of and Prevalence Estimates for Exposure to Traumatic Stressors. Within the U.S. as many as 1 in 4 males will experience some form of sexual abuse during their lifetime. The number of males who are sexually abused during military service is greater than the number of female service members. As many as 50% of the children who are sex trafficked in the US are males.
Identifying and Responding to Urban Refugees Risks of Gender-Based Violence Men and Boys, Including Male Survivors
Women´s Refugee Commission (WRC)., 2016
Throughout 2015, WRC conducted a research in urban settings, the first phase of a multi-year project to improve the humanitarian communitys understanding of and response to GBV risks in urban contexts. Quito, Ecuador; Beirut, Lebanon; Kampala, Uganda; and Delhi, India, were chosen because they are host to diverse refugee populations, have different policy environments for refugees, and are at different stages of humanitarian response. The project looked separately at the GBV risks of different urban refugee subpopulations: women; children and adolescents; LGBTI individuals; persons with disabilities; and male survivors of sexual violence.
armed conflict asylum seekers child soldiers children gender based violence internally displaced persons mental health refugee health refugees rehabilitation sexual violence sexual violence against men trauma