On May 6, 2022, “Lessons from the field: Recommendations for gender-based violence prevention and treatment for displaced women in conflict-affected Ukraine” was published in the journal The Lancet Regional Health – Europe. This paper depicted the work of HealthRight and the Ukrainian Foundation for Public Health (UFPH, a HealthRight subsidiary) in Ukraine after the armed conflict began in 2014. “Driven by the disruption of social networks, frail economic conditions and the breakdown of the rule of law, violence against women is widespread in humanitarian settings,” writes Dr. Ariadna Capasso, HealthRight staff Dr. Peter Navario, Dr. Theresa Castillo, Ukraine Country Director Halyna Skipalska, and more.
The rise in GBV in eastern Ukraine evidenced a need for trauma-informed mental health and psychosocial support services (MHPSS) for GBV survivors. Between 2015 and 2020, with funding from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), HealthRight and UFPH deployed over 52 MHPSS mobile teams that provided direct trauma-informed care to over 100,000 violence survivors in conflict-affected areas.
The paper provides recommendations to prevent and respond to GBV in humanitarian settings, which included reducing the risk of GBV during conflict and war, and increasing screening, detection and linkages to care for GBV survivors. It was concluded that civil society organizations, often women-led, were a cornerstone of the pre-war GBV response network. Humanitarian aid should uplift these local voices and engage them as leaders in immediate relief and long-term recovery efforts.
Read the full article here.