Rape, domestic abuse, and the harmful tradition of female genital mutilation are an all too common occurrence in the self-declared republic of Somaliland. Health Poverty Action have worked with a local partner to establish the first women's shelter in the country which provides accommodation, healthcare, counselling and legal services to survivors of abuse. We are also working with boys and men to ensure that the issues of sexual and gender based violence are systemically addressed.
Sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) is an all too real fact of life for women and girls in Somaliland. Rape is taboo and often brings shame for the victims, meaning that they are hesitant to report incidents to the police. Cases are usually settled outside of the legal system meaning that perpetrators are rarely brought to justice. Survivors are often left with no support system and nowhere to turn.
We provide safe accommodation, healthcare and counselling, as well as legal counsel to ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice. This project is expected to directly impact 187,250 women and girls who will benefit from prevention and support. We are training local authorities on the rights of survivors, as well providing logistical support to pursue cases in poor, remote areas. We are also supporting 21 local human rights organisations to monitor cases and ensure they pursued in court.
We are providing training to our partners to help them improve the effectiveness of the services and enable them to raise their own funds. SGBV survivors are being provided with business and skills training, as well as seed money to help them start their own businesses and help them to get back on their feet. We are also facilitating community conversations with men and youth clubs to inspire change from within, and to allow male victims of abuse to understand their rights and seek help.