From 21-24 October 2019, the Sexual Violence Research Initiative will bring together over 600 researchers, gender activists, funders, policy makers, practitioners, and survivors from around the world who are working to understand, prevent and respond to violence against women and other forms of violence driven by gender inequality in low and middle-income countries. The SVRI Forum 2019 will be held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), South Africa.
Social Change: #MeToo #TimesUp #cuéntalo #niunamás and other global movements have opened the door for millions of women to share their stories of sexual abuse, harassment and rape, as well as every day sexism. The increased awareness of the insidiousness and pervasiveness of violence against women and girls has sparked widespread outrage and created a window of opportunity to advance its prevention. SVRI Forum 2019 calls for abstract on how research can be used to advance these social movements and how researchers can work alongside activists to develop relevant research to inform, strengthen and expand activism around violence against women.
Leave No-one Behind: A laudable goal of the SDG 2030 agenda, is to leave no-one behind. In a research context this means: gathering data on gendered violence among disadvantaged groups; doing research that supports and informs good policy making to address inequality; and, providing tools and methods to understand and track progress to achieving equality. SVRI Forum 2019 would like to showcase diverse voices and research and programmes working to address violence against women across populations in situations of vulnerability, including persons with disabilities, people living with HIV, older persons, indigenous peoples, LGBTQI, refugees, internally displaced persons and migrants.
Violence against women and achieving the SDGs: For the first time global development goals include the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls and of harmful practices as central to the achievement of gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls (SDG5). There is also increasing recognition that many of the other SDGs cannot be achieved without addressing violence against women. Violence against women costs countries billions and keeps women and children in poverty (SDG1). It causes death, disability and affects the health and well-being of women and children (SDG3). Violence can limit girls’ access to education (SDG4), and women and girls in many settings risk being raped and sexually assaulted when trying to access clean water and sanitation (SDG6). Violence limits women’s ability to actively participate in public life and spaces (SDG11) and continues to be perpetrated with impunity in almost all countries (SDG16). SVRI Forum 2019 will provide space to share feminist research methods, analysis and approaches for achieving the 2030 Agenda.
Linkages between VAW and VAC (including CSA): The shared risk factors, intergenerational effects, common consequences and levels of co-occurrence between violence against children and violence against women has led to calls for closer collaboration between these two fields. SVRI Forum 2019 invites abstracts that address evidence of these intersections and strategies /frameworks for strengthening collaboration and programming.
Methods and measures: Strengthening the field through discussing, debating and sharing research tools, methods and measures is a core agenda of the SVRI Forum. SVRI Forum 2019 will provide an opportunity to discuss and debate new and innovative ways to measure VAW, hierarchies of knowledge, practice-based learning, sticky ethical issues, and monitoring and evaluation of interventions.
Scaling up of interventions: With the rush to implement evidence-based solutions, there is a risk of privileging the few interventions that have been evaluated in spite of our limited knowledge about what makes an intervention effective and whether their effectiveness can be maintained in different settings or at a different scale. SVRI Forum 2019 will facilitate discussions and calls for abstracts / panels that take a deeper dive into mechanisms of change, platforms for scale-up, practice based learning and strategies for integrating prevention and response interventions within existing services and programmes implemented by multiple sectors.
Changing social norms and shifting gender inequities: Strong feminist voices at SVRI Forum 2017 reaffirmed that this work is political, that women’s and girl’s voices must be central in our research and programmatic endeavours. Research and programmes must continue to focus on addressing the root causes of violence against women, which stem from gender inequality and other forms of oppression and marginalisation. We invite abstracts from practitioners, activists and researchers on the challenges of applying feminist theory to practice and how to engage men and boys within a feminist framework.
Costing and cost- effectiveness of interventions: Interventions that are cost-effective are key to achieving equity and ensuring no-one is left behind. That is, interventions that are of sufficient quality to be impactful, can be sustained at scale and at the same time, protect people from financial hardship or risk. SVRI Forum 2019 invites abstracts on costing and cost effectiveness studies, including discussions on methods, as well as responses from policy-makers on what research can help inform policy decisions.
New technologies: Mobile phones and apps have swiftly become an integral part of our daily life. These and many other technologies are increasingly being considered as the new mechanism for delivering GBV interventions to both general and at-risk populations. SVRI Forum 2019 will create opportunities to discuss and debate new technologies, their ethical dimensions, and share stories of success and failure in this new frontier. We would also be interested in providing space during the Forum to feature some of the apps currently being developed or tested. Please let us know if you would like to share your app at the Forum.
Submit your abstract on or before 25 January 2019
For more information, visit: SVRI Forum 2019