The Syria/Iraq region has been a focus of our grant program for partner organisations since autumn 2014. Women and girls from Syria and Iraq are affected by and threatened with sexualised violence both in their home regions and when fleeing. In cooperation with local women’s organisations in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq, and the regional government of the autonomous region of Kurdistan in Dohuk, Iraq, we are training the staff in safe houses and women’s advice centres as well as police officers and healthcare professionals in the provision of emergency assistance to women and girls affected by violence.
You can find further information on our work in the region here. To download a picture please click on the photo. You will find the download link below. You can use these photos for free provided you name the full copyright with each image: (Name of photographer/medica mondiale)
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), at the beginning of 2017 in Iraq there were some three million internally displaced people (IDP) as well as 233,000 refugees from neighbouring countries. Just in the administrative district Dohuk in the autonomous region of Kurdistan, northern Iraq, according to a study from the UNHCR in November 2016, there were some 93,000 Syrian refugees and 625,000 displaced people from Iraq.
Camp for refugees and IDP in Dohuk/northern I...
The Directorate of Combatting Violence Against Women in Dohuk, northern Iraq, is administered by the Ministry of the Interior of the Kurdish regional government. It operates contact points throughout the region for women affected by violence. Psychosocial counsellors work here together with police officers; they combine advice with judicial prosecution of the perpetrators. medica mondiale is supporting the authorities in the region as they develop trauma-sensitive standards for the counselling.
Contact points for women affected by violence
As well as basic services, integration-related offers, and the prospect of returning home, refugees and IDP urgently need psychological assistance.
Al-Wand refugee camp in northern Iraq
Violence against women in northern Iraq is committed particularly by the IS terrorist militia and Shiite militia. However, there is also widespread domestic violence, due to the patriarchal structures. The first issue is, therefore, simply to talk about the subject of violence against women – not just physical violence, but also psychological and structural violence.
Patriarchal structures and gender roles
The training courses from medica mondiale include theory about gender-specific violence and trauma, as well as practical exercises such as “body mapping”. In this exercises, the outline of a woman is drawn. Then the participants (such as healthcare professionals) mark the areas of the body where physical symptoms of sexualised violence could appear. Using another colour, they then indicate the regions where good and bad feelings can manifest.
Training courses on the symptoms of sexualise...