Democratic Republic of Congo | Tearfund
The project focuses on primary prevention of violence against women and girls (VAWG), particularly sexual violence, in 20 conflict-affected communities in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The project will engage and equip faith leaders to speak out against VAWG and act as catalysts to address the root causes of violence within their local communities.
This report explores the key findings of a baseline quantitative household survey undertaken across 15 communities in Ituri Province in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in July 2015. The survey was conducted as part of the integrated research component of Tearfund’s project ‘Engaging with Faith Groups to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls in Conflict-affected Communities’, which is funded by UK aid from the UK government as part of the What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls? Global Programme.
Sexual violence is prevalent in many conflict-affected environments, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, where it is reported that 1.8 million women have been raped in their lifetime. According to the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, conflict-related sexual violence is one of the most critical challenges faced by the people and government of the DRC.
Under the £25 million What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls programme, Tearfund was funded by the UK Government to implement a project – ‘Engaging with Faith Groups to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls in Conflict-affected Communities’. This policy paper, drawing on research conducted by Tearfund, reveals that faith leaders indeed have unique reach and influence within conflict-affected communities and a mandate to speak into these issues. If mobilised and equipped, they could play a key role in more effective prevention of and response to VAWG.
Six research studies are being conducted to produce rigorous research and evidence on:
VAWG prevalence in South Sudan: a mixed-methods study on the prevalence, forms, patterns and drivers of VAWG in South Sudan;
Kenya refugee camp case management: an assessment of the comprehensive case management model using a task-sharing approach with refugee community workers in the refugee camps of Dadaab;
GBV response post Typhoon Haiyan: a study on how the humanitarian sector met women and girl’s needs in the response to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, including the effectiveness of deployed GBV experts;
Impact of cash transfers on women’s protection and empowerment: an evaluation of the impact of cash transfer programming on women’s empowerment and protection outcomes in acute emergencies (future emergency to be determined);
Statebuilding and peacebuilding: an assessment of how different forms of VAWG and the drivers of VAWG have been addressed by national actors in statebuilding and peacebuilding processes; and also exploring how VAWG affects these processes;
Secondary analysis on the impact of Village Savings and Loans Associations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): a study on what factors moderated the effectiveness of a group based savings program on the mental health, experiences of stigma, and economic status of a survivor of sexual violence in the DRC.