Conflict-related sexual violence has been a feature of war for generations, and in many places around the world. Agencies working in conflict and post-conflict settings are increasingly undertaking research on sexual violence. The increase in research on sexual violence in these contexts has been driven by a growing concern about the scale of the problem; as well as the importance for prevention and response of having data on the magnitude and nature of sexual violence in conflict situations; the vulnerabilities of women and children in conflict; the risk factors for perpetration; the short, medium and long term service needs of victims/survivors; and the effectiveness of interventions to prevent and respond to sexual violence. In spite of the clear needs for and increased efforts to collect data, the evidence base remains scant. In order to advance the field in a more systematic way, and ensure that research efforts make the best use of limited resources, it is necessary to identify strategic priorities for research over the next five years.
As part of the knowledge building work of UN Action, the World Health Organization (WHO), in collaboration with the SVRI has supported the development of a research agenda on sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict settings. This research agenda identifies strategic research priorities over the next five years (2012 - 2016) to advance the field in a more systematic way, and to ensure that research efforts make the best use of limited resources.
Executive summary: A research agenda for sexual violence in humanitarian, conflict and post-conflict settings.Rowley E, Garcia-Moreno C and Dartnall E. World Health Organization, UN Action, SVRI and Medical Research Council South Africa, 2012. Also available in French.
Research themes and questions to guide research on sexual violence in conflict and post conflict settings. Rowley E, Garcia-Moreno C and Dartnall E. World Health Organization, UN Action, SVRI and Medical Research Council South Africa, 2012