Experences of Women Survivors of Gender-based Violence With Survivor-centred Approach, a Case of Association for Women’s Sanctuary and Development (Awsad) Ethiopia
This is a cross sectional descriptive study on experiences of women GBV survivors with survivor –centered approach while receiving care and support at AWSAD in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The study examined the services women GBV survivors receive, survivors‟ perception of safety and security, participatory, confidential and non-discriminatory nature of the services as well as the challenges survivors encounter while receiving services at AWSAD. The study reached 22 women GBV survivors. Data was obtained through semi-structured interviews, case narratives and key informant interviews and analyzed thematically in line with the specific study objectives. The human rights- based approach theory stating that women GBV survivors are the determinate factor of an effective response intervention guided the study. As such, the survivors hold fundamental human right to decide what is acceptable and what is not hence imposing duty on service providers to uphold survivor‟s right to opinion, choice, and decision-making power, access to quality service, information and safety in an empowering, non-discriminative, legal and accountable manner. The findings indicate that women survivors of gender based violence suffer physical, mental, economic and social consequences following abuse. Therefore, they require survivor-friendly comprehensive services to adequately address their needs. AWSAD provides a holistic service (i.e. clinical care, psychosocial support, legal follow-up e.t.c ) for women survivors of gender based violence at the shelter and outside through referral network with the government and other service providers. Majority of the women survivors of GBV are able to access medical/clinical care both at the shelter and other health centers, counseling support, legal follow-up and vocational training. Women survivors of GBV are empowered through the participatory and confidential counseling, skill development training and accommodation services that appreciate and value their idea, decision and action. That enables them to take part on their recovery process by naming their needs, addressing their problems and move on from their abuse in an environment where they no longer feel fear, shame or stigma. Some women GBV survivors however face challenges in accessing counseling service, legal support and vocational trainings due to language barriers, un-engaging attitudes of particular service providers at the shelter, inexperienced investigation skill of the police and delay of justice on the side of the judiciary. The study concludes that providing survivor-friendly intervention for women survivors of gender based violence is vital for a successful recovery as survivors-centered service restores the agency of survivors hence they are able to voice their concerns and desires in shaping their pathway to recovery. AWSAD holds the front line in outspreading internationally acclaimed survivor-centered response intervention to women GBV survivors in Ethiopia, it is therefore commended that the government works with AWSAD to better comprehend obstacles women face in accessing justice and fortify the coordination between AWSAD and different government sectors like that of health , justice , education and financial sector to adequately address the health, legal, education and economic needs of women GBV survivors. The study also proposes survivor-centered model comprehensive service to be provided by all rehabilitation and reintegration service centers. The study finally recommends strengthening of psychological care into comprehensive service to respond to the overlooked psychological effects of GBV on women survivors of GBV.
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