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Title: Prevention of sexual violence in refugee camps: An explorative study
Authors: Martinsson, Maria
Orientador: Clemente, Mara
Keywords: Sexual violence
Primary prevention
Refugee camps
Serviço social
Violência sexual
Prevenção de riscos
Issue Date: 29-Jul-2020
Citation: Martinsson, M. (2020). Prevention of sexual violence in refugee camps: An explorative study [Dissertação de mestrado, Iscte - Instituto Universitário de Lisboa]. Repositório Iscte.
Abstract: This study aimed to explore prevention of sexual violence in refugee camps in Greece as an entry point to the EU, through an analysis of the perceptions of professionals. The research questions focused on how professionals perceive prevention of sexual violence in refugee camps, through exploring how they describe the issue, how they perceive measures addressing it and primary prevention in particular, and if they perceive any challenges, opportunities, and needs for prevention of sexual violence perpetration in refugee camps. The research was conducted as an exploratory, qualitative study. Six semi-structured interviews were conducted. The participants were seven professionals who worked in international and national organizations and agencies in Greece with migrants, applicants for international protection, and refugees (MARs) and/or on prevention of sexual violence. The findings showed that sexual violence in refugee camps is perceived as a problem by the professionals, with many incidents of various forms of sexual violence on a continuum of violence in terms of the contexts it is perpetrated. The results indicated that there are many intersecting power structures including gender inequality, playing out in systems on micro-, meso-, exo-, and macrolevels, that affect the issue and possibilities to work on primary prevention. Existing interventions related to the issue of sexual violence in the context seemed to mainly focus on response in terms of support for victims, and on empowerment activities and safe spaces for women, although such spaces were described to have been reduced and possibilities to meet the needs described as limited. Initiatives for primary prevention of perpetration in the context were very few.Meanwhile, the findings showed a perception among the professionals that they consider it important to work with men to stop violence and that more such work is needed. The findings also indicated that professionals perceive there are several difficulties for working on prevention of sexual violence, including various structural macro-level issues related with policies and political concerns as well as attitudes and beliefs, in Greece and the EU. The results suggested that needs for prevention of sexual violence in refugee camps include improved conditions and security in camps, targeted programming, and coordination. Moreover, for primary prevention, the findings indicated that there is a need to address gender norms and gender inequality. Training and capacity building for staff, and having interpreters who are sensitized to the issue, were found to be important. No aspect regarding prevention of sexual violence perpetration exists in isolation from others. Interactions between systems on all levels affect the extent of attention and the approach to prevention of sexual violence in refugee camps in Greece as an entry point to the EU.
Peer reviewed: yes
Thesis identifier: 202518450
Designation: Mestrado Erasmus Mundus em Serviço Social com Famílias e Crianças
Appears in Collections:T&D-DM - Dissertações de mestrado

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