How common is sexual violence in the humanitarian aid community?
来源：未知 作者：井废兰 时间：2017-12-14 03:01:10
By Curtis Abraham Who helps the helpers? Humanitarian aid work often promotes gender equality and an end to sexual abuse – but some organisations say that many aid workers are themselves subject to sexual violence. Several studies and projects now aim to uncover the extent of the problem and help those affected. Sexual violence in the humanitarian aid community has been a problem for decades, says Alicia Jones at the Headington Institute in Pasadena, California – but it is rarely discussed. “I think most survivors fear the scrutiny that will be applied to them. Many fear that they will be blamed at least in part for what happened,” she says. “The cultural stigma around this issue still exists in every country, and in some cases reporting to local authorities may be unsafe.” The Headington Institute is developing a research project that aims to uncover the true scale of the problem, as well as bolstering the response of relevant agencies. It isn’t alone. A separate campaign, Report The Abuse – run by the International Women’s Rights Project in Vancouver, Canada – launched in August and is independently conducting a survey to examine the prevalence of assaults. Jones gave a talk last month at the Sexual Violence Management Conference for the Humanitarian sector in London, where she outlined some initial findings from surveys of aid workers that the Headington Institute has conducted over the past five years. Some 10 per cent of the 1439 aid workers that the Headington Institute surveyed reported being forced into unwanted sexual contact. Three-quarters of those reporting an incident were female. When the Headington researchers examined a sub-set of 1108 aid workers from 37 countries, they found that four in 10 had experienced two or more unwanted incidents. But few of these incidents are recorded in official statistics. In July, the Humanitarian Outcomes and Integrated Regional Information Networks used data from the Aid Worker Security Database to build an interactive graph of violence against aid workers. The graph shows that around 3000 national staff and 540 international staff have been attacked – but of these, only 17 international staff and six national staff have reported experiencing sexual violence. Jones says the intensely personal nature of sexual assault makes it extremely difficult to report in a workplace setting. In addition, many people fear they will lose their job, or that reporting will not have beneficial results. “We know that, universally, victims of rape and sexual assault carry a huge sense of self blame,” says Anya Charnaud at The Havens, a network of specialist sexual assault referral centres across London. The response of aid organisations has, in general, been less than supportive, says Jones – which can be a problem. Charnaud says that sexual violence carries serious and lasting physical and psychological effects such as increased anxiety, poor sleep, disgust, shame, fear, guilt and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. “We have a moral obligation to make sure that those who tell the truth about sexual assault in our agencies are themselves helped in the process,