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All forms of gender-based violence (GBV) are rampant in conflict and humanitarian settings with women and adolescents being most vulnerable. Conflict and humanitarian settings exacerbate existing gender inequities making women, girls and adolescents most impacted by GBV. Read our resources on GBV in conflict and humanitarian settings to know more about what research is telling us about the nature and prevalence and impact of GBV, along with the effectiveness of interventions to address GBV in conflict and humanitarian settings.

Ibrahim, H., Goessmann, K., Neuner, F., & Iffland, B. (2024). Continuous chains: childhood maltreatment and intimate partner violence victimization among displaced women in a war context. BMC Women’s Health, 24(1), 319. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12905-024-03156-2
Women’s Refugee Commission. (2024). Supporting Displaced Adolescent Boys and Male Youth in All Their Diversity Who Are Survivors Or At Risk of Sexual Exploitation. Women’s Refugee Commission. https://www.womensrefugeecommission.org/research-resources/supporting-displaced-adolescent-boys-and-male-youth-in-all-their-diversity-who-are-survivors-or-at-risk-of-sexual-exploitation-a-toolkit-for-frontline-workers-in-humanitarian-contexts/
Obare, F., Odwe, G., Wado, Y., Kisaakye, P., Muthuri, S., Seruwagi, G., Fernandez, B., Ginestra, C., Kabiru, C., & Undie, C.-C. (2024). Highlights from the first-ever violence against children and youth survey conducted exclusively in a humanitarian setting. Child Abuse & Neglect, 106826. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2024.106826
Odwe, G., Muthuri, S., Onyango, F., Kisaakye, P., Seruwagi, G., Wado, Y., Kabiru, C., & Undie, C.-C. (2024). Disability, childhood experiences of violence and associated health outcomes in refugee settlements in Uganda. Child Protection and Practice, 100023. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chipro.2024.100023
Michelis, I., Makepeace, J., & Reis, C. (2024). Who Is Centered in the Humanitarian Response to Gender-Based Violence? A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Survivor-Centered Approach. Violence Against Women, 10778012241231784. https://doi.org/10.1177/10778012241231783
Bourey, C., Musci, R. J., Bass, J. K., Glass, N., Matabaro, A., & Kelly, J. T. D. (2024). Drivers of men’s use of intimate partner violence in conflict-affected settings: learnings from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Conflict and Health, 18(1), 9. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13031-023-00562-5
Denov, M., & Saad, D. (2024). Umwana w’umugore: The gendered realities of girls born of conflict-related sexual violence and their mothers in post-genocide Rwanda. Journal of Health Psychology, 13591053231223884. https://doi.org/10.1177/13591053231223883
Rubini, E., Valente, M., Trentin, M., Facci, G., Ragazzoni, L., & Gino, S. (2023). Negative consequences of conflict-related sexual violence on survivors: a systematic review of qualitative evidence. International Journal for Equity in Health, 22(1), 227. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12939-023-02038-7
Baboolal, A. A. (2023). (Under)cover and Uncovered: Muslim Women’s Resistance to Islamophobic Violence. Victims & Offenders, 1–21. https://doi.org/10.1080/15564886.2023.2175093
Lopera-Arbeláez, I. (2023). Feminization of Female FARC-EP Combatants: From War Battle to Social-Economical Struggle. Journal of Peacebuilding & Development, 18(1), 3–19. https://doi.org/10.1177/15423166221120638
Denbow, C., & Watson, J. (2023). Executive summary – Feminist research on violence against women in humanitarian and development settings: A snapshot of best practices and challenges. Sexual Violence Research Initiative and COFEM. https://svri.org/sites/default/files/attachments/2023-02-16/P5_Feminist_Research_Executive_Summary.pdf
Denbow, C., & Watson, J. (2023). Feminist research on violence against women in humanitarian and development settings: A snapshot of best practices and challenges. Sexual Violence Research Initiative and COFEM. https://svri.org/sites/default/files/attachments/2023-02-16/P5_Feminist_Research.pdf
Capasso, A., Skipalska, H., Chakrabarti, U., Guttmacher, S., Navario, P., & Castillo, T. P. (2022). Patterns of Gender-Based Violence in Conflict-Affected Ukraine: A Descriptive Analysis of Internally Displaced and Local Women Receiving Psychosocial Services. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 37(23–24), NP21549–NP21572. https://doi.org/10.1177/08862605211063009
Murphy, M., Ellsberg, M., Balogun, A., & García-Moreno, C. (2022). Risk and Protective Factors for Violence Against Women and Girls Living in Conflict and Natural Disaster-Affected Settings: A Systematic Review. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 152483802211293. https://doi.org/10.1177/15248380221129303
Dawson, A., Tappis, H., & Tran, N. T. (2022). Self-care interventions for sexual and reproductive health in humanitarian and fragile settings: a scoping review. BMC Health Services Research, 22(1), 757. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-022-07916-4
Keyser, L., Maroyi, R., & Mukwege, D. (2022). Violence Against Women – A Global Perspective. Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinics of North America, 49(4), 809–821. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ogc.2022.08.002
Stark, L., Robinson, M. V., Seff, I., Gillespie, A., Colarelli, J., & Landis, D. (2022). The Effectiveness of Women and Girls Safe Spaces: A Systematic Review of Evidence to Address Violence Against Women and Girls in Humanitarian Contexts. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 23(4), 1249–1261. https://doi.org/10.1177/1524838021991306
Call to Action on Protection from Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies. (2022). Call to Action on Protection from Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies 2021- 2025 Road Map. Call to Action on Protection from Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies. https://www.iom.int/sites/g/files/tmzbdl486/files/documents/CTA-on-Protection-from-GBV-in-Emergencies-Roadmap-2021-2025-EN.pdf
Lokot, M. (2021). Skewed Allegiances: Recalibrating Humanitarian Accountability towards Gender. Refugee Survey Quarterly, 40(4), 391–413. https://doi.org/10.1093/rsq/hdab007
Spangaro, J., Toole-Anstey, C., MacPhail, C. L., Rambaldini-Gooding, D. C., Keevers, L., & Garcia-Moreno, C. (2021). The impact of interventions to reduce risk and incidence of intimate partner violence and sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict states and other humanitarian crises in low and middle income countries: a systematic review. Conflict and Health, 15(1), 86. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13031-021-00417-x
Devakumar, D., Palfreyman, A., Uthayakumar-Cumarasamy, A., Ullah, N., Ranasinghe, C., Minckas, N., Nadkarni, A., Oram, S., Osrin, D., & Mannell, J. (2021). Mental health of women and children experiencing family violence in conflict settings: a mixed methods systematic review. Conflict and Health, 15(1), 74. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13031-021-00410-4
Sharma, V., Ausubel, E., Heckman, C., Patrick, E., Save, D., & Kelly, J. T. D. (2021). Mitigating gender-based violence risk in the context of COVID-19: lessons from humanitarian crises. BMJ Global Health, 6(3), e005448. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjgh-2021-005448
Murphy, M., Ellsberg, M., Balogun, A., & Garcia-Moreno, C. (2021). Risk and protective factors for GBV among women and girls living in humanitarian setting: systematic review protocol. Systematic Reviews, 10(1), 238. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13643-021-01795-2
Alleyne-Green, B., Kulick, A., Grocher, K., & Betancourt, T. S. (2021). Physical and Sexual Violence Experienced by Male War-Affected Youth: Implications for Post-Conflict Functioning and Intimate Relationships. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 36(9–10), NP4874–NP4890. https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260518792963
Thurston, A. M., Stöckl, H., & Ranganathan, M. (2021). Natural hazards, disasters and violence against women and girls: a global mixed-methods systematic review. BMJ Global Health, 6(4), e004377. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjgh-2020-004377
Singh, N. S., Lokot, M., Undie, C.-C., Onyango, M. A., Morgan, R., Harmer, A., Freedman, J., & Heidari, S. (2021). Research in forced displacement: guidance for a feminist and decolonial approach. The Lancet, 397(10274), 560–562. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(21)00024-6
Cikuru, J., Bitenga, A., Balegamire, J. B. M., Salama, P. M., Hood, M. M., Mukherjee, B., Mukwege, A., & Harlow, S. D. (2021). Impact of the Healing in Harmony program on women’s mental health in a rural area in South Kivu province, Democratic Republic of Congo. Global Mental Health (Cambridge, England), 8, e13. https://doi.org/10.1017/gmh.2021.11
Ellsberg, M., Ovince, J., Murphy, M., Blackwell, A., Reddy, D., Stennes, J., Hess, T., & Contreras, M. (2020). No safe place: Prevalence and correlates of violence against conflict-affected women and girls in South Sudan. PLOS ONE, 15(10), e0237965. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0237965
Le Roux, E., Corboz, J., Scott, N., Sandilands, M., Lele, U. B., Bezzolato, E., & Jewkes, R. (2020). Engaging with faith groups to prevent VAWG in conflict-affected communities: results from two community surveys in the DRC. BMC International Health and Human Rights, 20(1), 27. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12914-020-00246-8
Men, masculinities and humanitarian settings: A mapping of the state of research and practice-based evidence. (2020, June 11). UN Women – Headquarters. https://www.unwomen.org/en/digital-library/publications/2023/08/men-masculinities-and-humanitarian-settings
Kiss, L., Quinlan-Davidson, M., Pasquero, L., Tejero, P. O., Hogg, C., Theis, J., Park, A., Zimmerman, C., & Hossain, M. (2020). Male and LGBT survivors of sexual violence in conflict situations: a realist review of health interventions in low-and middle-income countries. Conflict and Health, 14(1), 11. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13031-020-0254-5
Rubenstein, B. L., Lu, L. Z. N., MacFarlane, M., & Stark, L. (2020). Predictors of Interpersonal Violence in the Household in Humanitarian Settings: A Systematic Review. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 21(1), 31–44. https://doi.org/10.1177/1524838017738724
Murphy, M., Ellsberg, M., & Contreras-Urbina, M. (2020). Nowhere to go: disclosure and help-seeking behaviors for survivors of violence against women and girls in South Sudan. Conflict and Health, 14, 6. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13031-020-0257-2
Johnstone, K., & Perera, N. (2020). Can cooking solutions for refugees better serve gender dynamics? (No. IBN 9781784318260; p. 4). International Institute for Environment and Development. https://www.iied.org/17762iied
Wringe, A., Yankah, E., Parks, T., Mohamed, O., Saleh, M., Speed, O., Hémono, R., Relyea, B., Ibrahim, M., Sandhu, J. S., & Scott, J. (2019). Altered social trajectories and risks of violence among young Syrian women seeking refuge in Turkey: a qualitative study. BMC Women’s Health, 19(1), 9. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12905-019-0710-9
Koegler, E., Kennedy, C., Mrindi, J., Bachunguye, R., Winch, P., Ramazani, P., Makambo, M. T., & Glass, N. (2019). Understanding how solidarity groups-a community-based economic and psychosocial support intervention-can affect mental health for survivors of conflict-related sexual violence in Democratic Republic of the Congo. Violence against Women, 25(3), 359–374. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077801218778378
Augustinavicius, J. L., Greene, M. C., Lakin, D. P., & Tol, W. A. (2018). Monitoring and evaluation of mental health and psychosocial support programs in humanitarian settings: a scoping review of terminology and focus. Conflict and Health, 12(1), 9. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13031-018-0146-0
Women’s Refugee Commission, Mercy Corps, & International Rescue Committee. (2018). Toolkit for optimizing cash-based interventions for protection from gender-based violence: mainstreaming GBV considerations in CBIs and utilizing cash in GBV response. Women’s Refugee Commission, Mercy Corps, International Rescue Committee. https://www.womensrefugeecommission.org/research-resources/mainstreaming-gender-based-violence-considerations-cash-voucher-assistance/
Chynoweth, S. K., Freccero, J., & Touquet, H. (2017). Sexual violence against men and boys in conflict and forced displacement: implications for the health sector. Reproductive Health Matters, 25(51), 90–94. https://doi.org/10.1080/09688080.2017.1401895
Rubenstein, B. L., & Stark, L. (2017). The impact of humanitarian emergencies on the prevalence of violence against children: an evidence-based ecological framework. Psychology, Health & Medicine, 22(sup1), 58–66. https://doi.org/10.1080/13548506.2016.1271949
Kelly, J., Albutt, K., Kabanga, J., Anderson, K., & VanRooyen, M. (2017). Rejection, acceptance and the spectrum between: understanding male attitudes and experiences towards conflict-related sexual violence in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. BMC Women’s Health, 17(1), 127. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12905-017-0479-7
Glass, N., Perrin, N. A., Kohli, A., Campbell, J., & Remy, M. M. (2017). Randomised controlled trial of a livestock productive asset transfer programme to improve economic and health outcomes and reduce intimate partner violence in a postconflict setting. BMJ Global Health, 2(1), e000165. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjgh-2016-000165
Ba, I., & Bhopal, R. S. (2017). Physical, mental and social consequences in civilians who have experienced war-related sexual violence: a systematic review (1981–2014). Public Health, 142, 121–135. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.puhe.2016.07.019
Delkhosh, M., Ardalan, A., Rahimiforoushani, A., Keshtkar, A., Amiri Farahani, L., & Merghati Khoei, E. (2017). Interventions for Prevention of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in Humanitarian Settings: A Protocol for a Systematic Review. PLoS Currents. https://doi.org/https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5553713/
Hossain, M., & McAlpine, A. (2017). Gender based violence research methodologies in humanitarian settings: an evidence review and recommendations. Elhra. https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/48270/1/1726920_Hossain.pdf
Mootz, J. J., Stabb, S. D., & Mollen, D. (2017). Gender-Based Violence and Armed Conflict: A Community-Informed Socioecological Conceptual Model From Northeastern Uganda. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 41(3), 368–388. https://doi.org/10.1177/0361684317705086
UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office. (2017). International protocol on the documentation and investigation of sexual violence in conflict. Basic standards of best practice on the documentation of sexual violence as a crime under international law. Second edition. UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office. https://www.un.org/sexualviolenceinconflict/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/report/international-protocol-on-the-documentation-and-investigation-of-sexual-violence-in-conflict/International_Protocol_2017_2nd_Edition.pdf
Falb, K. L., Tanner, S., Ward, L., Erksine, D., Noble, E., Assazenew, A., Bakomere, T., Graybill, E., Lowry, C., Mallinga, P., Neiman, A., Poulton, C., Robinette, K., Sommer, M., & Stark, L. (2016). Creating opportunities through mentorship, parental involvement, and safe spaces (COMPASS) program: multi-country study protocol to protect girls from violence in humanitarian settings. BMC Public Health, 16, 231. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-016-2894-3
Touquet, H., & Gorris, E. (2016). Out of the shadows? The inclusion of men and boys in conceptualisations of wartime sexual violence. Reproductive Health Matters, 24(47), 36–46. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rhm.2016.04.007
Undie, C.-C., Birungi, H., Obare, F., Odwe, G., Namwebya, J., Orikushaba, P., Ayebale, P., Onen, W., Nicholson, F., Francis, R. C., Netshabako, P., Katahoire, A., Kazungu, D. A., Kusasira, D., Mirghani, Z., & Karugaba, J. (2016). Effectiveness of a community-based SGBV prevention model in emergency settings in Uganda: Testing the ‘zero tolerance village alliance’ intervention. Population Council. https://knowledgecommons.popcouncil.org/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1642&context=departments_sbsr-rh#:~:text=The%20model%20proved%20to%20be,and%20women)%2C%20and%20non%2D
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