SGBV prevention and response


Although the scope of SGBV in Iraq is unknown, the problem is considered to be widespread. Social norms, practices and stigma associated with family and domestic violence and other forms of gender-based violence makes certain that incidents are underreported. The participatory assessment for the Palestinians conducted in January 2013 revealed that women and girls are at risk of violence, including sexual violence on their way to school, at the market, by the ISF (including during security raids), within their community and at home (from parents, brothers and other relatives). They are discriminated against in accessing education and employment. Their behaviour and movements are restricted. During the participatory assessment conducted in the North in September 2012, women in Makhmour camp stated that there is a need for the current safe house to expand since it cannot guest all women (those fleeing domestic violence) and their dependents who seek shelter there.
Despite initiatives to respond to SGBV, survivors of SGBV do not receive adequate assistance. Through its protection network in Iraq, UNHCR works to prevent and respond to SGBV. SOPs are available in the North and South. In the Center, an IRC mapping of services provided to survivors of SGBV in Baghdad under UNHCR funding found that, where services for women exist, they are piecemeal, do not approach international standards for working with survivors, and are often inaccessible. Moreover, the study made clear that there is a lack of awareness at all levels of government and society of the threat that violence against women and girls poses to families and communities. It indicated three clear immediate barriers to SGBV survivors accessing services: (1) the existence of quality services, (2) the knowledge of services, and (3) the community acceptance of these services.
The full implementation of this objective will seek to reinforce current services for survivors and increase prevention activities. The collaboration with sister agencies will be strengthened.