Prevention and Treatment for Gender-Based Violence

1
Mele Beneficiaries

1
Female Beneficiaries

 

Nearly two years of continuous work to reduce domestic violence and its effects

The Family Counseling and Development Foundation has started the implementation of the Prevention and treatment for Gender Based Violence Project in June 2014, funded by the Dutch government. The goal of this project is to reduce the negative effects of gender-based violence by providing special, psychologically and socially integrated preventive services to 20,000 women and children by 2016.

Within two years, the "Project on Prevention and Treatment of Gender-Based Violence" has completed five procedural goals. The first is to provide psychosocial counseling to 20,000 women who cannot leave their homes or live in remote areas by receiving daily free calls from service seekers via the "Hotline".

The objectives of the project have included the provision of psychological therapy and counseling services in therapeutic sessions, in addition to providing other social and economic services through support by referral to other specialists in this field. The goal is to provide these services to 600 women who need additional help and have the ability to attend the Family Counseling and Development Foundation in person. But the actual beneficiaries were more than that, and not only women, but some men also applied for service, not to mention those in the family counseling service in the context of treating their relatives.

The third objective was to mobilize advocacy to include the provisions of the new Yemeni Constitution on the rights of women to physical safety and protection from gender-based violence. The objectives included the introduction of psychological and social services in the National Plan of the Ministry of Health, Public Universities Sana'a, Taiz, Aden, Hodeidah and Hadramout. The fifth objective was to encourage society, including clerics, the family and young people, to change their biased attitudes and behaviors against women and children and to adopt and protect their personal integrity.

 The Family Counseling and Development Foundation distributed the project completion stages in four semi-annual periods. The Achievement of these goals also goes for the Foundation’s specialized, qualified, experienced and efficient staff team.   

First Phase

  1. Social and psychological counseling via hotline:

This phase started in August 2014, after two months of service requirements.

The plan was to provide psychosocial counseling services to 5,000 women. Within five months, the Hotline staff received (9373) calls from extension service applicants (3900) women and men who received counseling services according to the priority of cases.

The extension service team has adopted the classification of the recipients of the service according to the gender of the survivors of the violence, its level of education and its area of residence, in addition to other classifications according to the nature of the problems, their diagnoses, reasons, etc., which are scientific classifications to obtain a more comprehensive evaluation of the issues of gender-based violence, and alert their dangers to society and stability.

  3900 beneficiaries received counseling service through the hotline at this stage, the percentage of women is 73%, while the proportion of those with low educational level 34%, and 20% of them live in remote areas such as Amran, Rima, Abyan, Lahj, Shabwa, Marib, Rada and Al-Bayda.

The classification of problems was divided between gender-based violence, including sexual and physical abuse, rape, harassment, imprisonment and deprivation of rights, cruel treatment, threats, coercion, neglect and recklessness.

  1. Psychotherapy and social therapy

Under the supervision and technical support of the President of the Family Counseling and Development Foundation, two clinics for follow-up psychiatric treatment and clinical instruments were established. (60%) of these cases were of low educational level, of which 57% were women, 6 adult men and one child were raped. The total number of cases treated is 63 cases (58%) are survivors of gender-based violence.

  1. Referral Service:

In order to provide this service to those in need of more psychological, social and economic assistance, the Family Counseling and Development Foundation had to coordinate with a number of parties. The foundation has made 9 agreements with medical institutions, clinics, local and international human rights organizations, Police Departments.

During this phase, 20 cases were referred to legal and medical institutions, including a Somali refugee, a poor child who was raped, and his family was threatened by the offender's family to relinquish the case. Psychosocial and legal support for the child has reduced the symptoms of rape trauma and deterred the threat to his family.

  1. Advocacy:

When the work on the project on prevention and treatment of gender-based violence began, the political process in Yemen was still ongoing; the Constitution Drafting Committee was to announce the first draft of the new constitution in November 2014. Based on the objectives of this project, Family Development and Guidance Work partnership with the project "Equal Citizenship for Women in the Constitution", a project supported by the World Peace Institute, which issued a policy paper entitled "Constitution for All Yemenis Men and Women". The paper was prepared by the researchers Wameed Shaker and Suha Bashrin, and included constitutional determinants relating to the rights of women. The paper discussed the need to include women's rights in constitutional articles on equal citizenship, protection and development.

On 29 September, the Foundation held a panel discussion to present this paper. 30 participants from various organizations and networks working to support and advocate the inclusion of women's rights in the Constitution, as well as a number of experts in law, economics, sociology and media attended the discussion.

The Foundation then held seven events to lobby for the inclusion of women's rights in the new constitution's texts and articles, including advocacy campaigns involving more than one Yemeni governorate, in partnership with relevant organizations and institutions.

These and other activities of the project plan continued for the first half of the year 2015, but the developments in the country went with all those efforts with the winds of war that stopped the entire political process. However, the project continued to provide service to survivors of gender-based violence, without discrimination based on the sex or nationality of the beneficiary.

 

Second Phase

The number of survivors of violence is increasing threefold

1. Psychological Counseling Service:

Based on the first objective of the project, which provides psychological counseling services to 20,000 women, the Foundation identified the number of targeted beneficiaries of the second phase hotline (January-June 2015) at 5,000 women.

According to the first half of 2015, the Foundation has developed the service and has a team of 7 qualified and experienced members who receive calls for 12 hours a day and 6 days a week through 6 free lines from all telecommunications companies in Yemen.

 This stage witnessed a qualitative leap in the number of applicants and beneficiaries. The call center received 34,000 calls from both sexes - both male and female - from whom they received (11509) counseling services through the Hotline. Their age, educational level, occupations and areas of residence varied. for example: The proportion of those under the age of 18 (26%), while the young people between the ages of 19 and 38 years (71%). The percentage of the uneducated reached 18%, and those with secondary qualifications (69%), while the proportion of university graduates (12.5%). Their areas of residence were divided between Mahra, Jouf, Dhala, Saada, Marib, Hadramout, Abyan, Hajjah, Lahj, Shabwa, Rima, Amran and Mahweet.

Most of the callers sought psychosocial counseling on family problems, including marital, emotional and sexual problems, as well as children's problems, mental and mental disorders, and problems related to education, extremist thinking, extremist religious interventions, and addiction.

During this period, the number of cases of anxiety and depression increased by 4% compared to the previous period (stage 1). It is likely that the group concerned that the increase is caused by the state of war and its psychological consequences on people. But the war must also be the reason for the rising number of those looking for a lifeline from the violence that has surrounded their lives from all sides.

According to the report, 43% of the cases of psychological counseling for this period were subjected to gender-based violence, including cases of physical and sexual abuse, rape, harassment and psychological violence. The issues of gender-based violence ranged from imprisonment, deprivation of rights, extreme cruelty, threat, neglect and abuse.

2 - Psychotherapy:

The Foundation's plan for this phase included providing psychosocial services to 300 women whose situation requires additional psychological, social and economic support, either through psychological treatment or referral. According to the first half of 2015, the psychological treatment team conducted 619 treatment sessions for 316 people, 183 of whom were women.

The percentage of beneficiaries of psychological treatment was distributed among 22% of children under the age of 18 (65%) of youth aged 19-38 and 13% of those aged 40-60 years. The report also ranked the beneficiaries of the service according to their level of education, where the percentage of those with qualifications between the secondary, bachelor, master and doctorate was (53%).

Cases of gender-based violence were 171 cases out of 316 benefited from psychiatric treatment at the foundation's clinics (54%) and from the 171 cases, 169 were women and girls, which means 99% of these cases.

The diagnosis of the cases varied between mental disorders, psychological, mood,

physical, anxiety, social problems and violence.

3. Referral Service:

In addition to the psychotherapy service, which varied between sessions of psychological testing and treatment of cases in which personally attended the clinics of the foundation, there were cases in need of additional support by forwarding them to others. During the same period, 23 cases were referred to 5 different parties.

4. Advocacy:

In the second half of 2014, (the first phase of the project), the foundation, in collaboration with the Independent Women's Network, the National Women's Committee, the World Peace Institute, as well as other local organizations, legal advisers and activists, Constitutional protection against gender-based violence ". The campaign aimed to ensure that the rights of the family, women and children, including the right to protection against gender-based violence, are clearly enshrined in the new Constitution.

In January 2015, the Constitution Drafting Committee announced the first draft of the Constitution. The Foundation, together with its partners, has established several events. These events included consultative meetings and legal review to ensure that protection against gender-based violence is clearly stated in the first draft of the Constitution.

For this task, roles and responsibilities were divided between the Foundation and its partners, and this division had an effective impact. These include reviewing the draft constitution and launching a media and social awareness campaign to warn against the dangers of ignoring the rights of women and children in the constitution.

In March 2015, the legal study submitted by the National Women's Committee to the draft constitution stated that the draft provides for the prevention of physical and sexual abuse. It states that physical safety is a fundamental right for all Yemenis men, women and children, but does not explicitly criminalize gender-based violence. Therefore, the study recommended that the Drafting Committee and the higher authorities concerned with the outcome of the National Dialogue Conference reconsider these constitutional articles or include other articles in the Constitution explicitly criminalizing gender-based violence.

5. Community Awareness Rising:

During the first half of the project, the Foundation for Family Development and Guidance implemented an awareness campaign on gender-based violence, and designed and printed 15,000 posters distributed in Sana'a, Dhamar, Aden and Lahj. It also produced an awareness video that was broadcast on Yemen satellite channel, Saba channel and Al-Iman channel. In addition, a radio program was produced in Lahj, Taiz, Saada, Shabwa, Marib and Socotra. More than 20 major news stories were posted on the Internet.

In the second half of the project - January-June 2015, this community awareness rising and advertisements of the hotline that receives calls from survivors of violence continued. The field of awareness was expanded to include the governorates of Hodeidah, Abyan, Hadramout, Mahra and Hajjah.

The means of awareness varied among the materials and interviews television and radio, posters and leaflets that were distributed or glued in the streets of a number of the provinces of the Republic. These campaigns have increased the number of survivors of violence who have decided to seek counseling and psychosocial support through the Foundation's services. This increase was monitored as follows:

- 14.5% of the beneficiaries of the hotline service knew about the service via radio

- 11.5% via television

- 4% via posters and leaflets distributed in the streets.

The largest proportion of beneficiaries was through their knowledge of the service from previous beneficiaries, reaching 67%. This is a clear positive indication that the beneficiary of the service seeks to spread the news in its social environment.

Third Phase

Save 26 women from living in a violent environment

  • Psychological counseling via hotline:

During this period, the Family Counseling & Development Foundation team managed to rescue 26 women who lived in and were constantly exposed to gender-based violence. In addition to saving other cases suffered from different kinds of violence.

 

By the beginning of July 2015, the hotline team continued to receive calls for Psychological and family counseling. The number of beneficiaries in this phase plan was 5,000. However, the total number of calls received by the group amounted to more than 37 thousand calls from women and men, an increase of more than 3000 new cases for the first half of the year 2015.

 

Among the large number of callers, the service has been offered to 12038 connected according to its priority status. Of these, 3,743 cases of gender-based violence. Beneficiaries were classified as follows:

 

- 50% have a general secondary qualification, and 11% are illiterate.

- 44% are married.

- 41% are unemployed.

 

The most common problems for those seeking counseling were family problems, including marital, emotional, sexual and substance abuse problems. In addition, there are problems related to mental and psychological disorders, educational problems, and others related to intellectual and religious extremism.

 

Cases of gender-based violence amounting to 31%, including physical and sexual abuse, rape and harassment, verbal violence, ill-treatment, extreme cruelty, imprisonment and deprivation of rights.

 

2 - Psychotherapy:

Within 6 months, the psychotherapy team conducted 459 treatment and counseling sessions for 319 cases, including 183 women, or 44%. The classification of beneficiaries by age was as follows:

- 14% of children under the age of 18 years.

- 70% of the age of 19-38.

- 16% average age between 40-60 years.

 

The following table shows the diagnosis of cases that were assisted through psychotherapy:

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Referral:

The referral service benefited 19 cases requiring additional psychological, social and economic support.

 

  1. Advocacy and Support:

During this phase, as the war in Yemen continued, the foundation continued to pursue peace talks between the parties that are fighting. Those talks, which the United Nations has called for, have continued in the hope that the peace agreement can provide an opportunity for the return of the demands for protection against gender-based violence in new policies. However, the peace negotiations have not reached the appropriate stage to start working on these demands, while the war continues.

  The foundation, therefore, felt that it would be better to improve advocacy activities in order to gain a better response in this context. Instead of targeting decision-makers to urge them to adopt the inclusion of protection against gender-based violence in the new constitution, the Foundation felt it was implementing an electronic and printed awareness campaign.

This campaign targeted the community, human rights organizations, United Nations agencies and offices and representatives of political parties. Work is now under way.

  1. Community Awareness Rising:

During July-October 2015, the Foundation noted that the number of callers on the hotline was gradually decreasing. Although this has many potential factors, especially in light of the ongoing war, the management has taken some measures to increase community awareness. One of these measures resulted in Yemen Mobile's approval to send free messages to 4 million subscribers, Hotline. This was a major collaboration by the Foundation and this campaign led to an increase of 46%.

 

In addition to the impact of the other outreach methods implemented by the Foundation in its campaign for the third phase of the project, it was forced to keep up with this increase by adding 10 lines of communication by November 2015. The hours were extended and the employment of psychologists and social workers.

 

Because the advocacy campaign focuses on cases of gender-based violence, the Foundation will focus on community outreach activities during the next phase of visits to IDP camps and host communities to provide outreach and counseling services on the ground.

 

Last Phase

  1. Psychological Counseling via Hotline:

At the beginning of January 2016, the hotline team continued to receive calls for psychological and family counseling. The number of beneficiaries in this phase plan was 5,000. However, the total number of calls received by the group reached more than 40,000 contacts from women and men, an increase of more than 3000 new cases for the second half of the year 2015.

This large number of callers, the service was served to 18360 connected according to its priority.

The most common problems that require counseling are family problems, including marital, emotional, sexual and substance abuse problems. In addition, there are problems related to mental and psychological disorders, educational problems, and others related to intellectual and religious extremism.

 

  1. Psychotherapy:

Within 6 months, the psychotherapy team conducted 379 treatment and counseling sessions for 262 cases, including 162 women, or 42%.

 

  1. Referral:

The referral service benefited 67 cases which required additional psychological, social and economic support.