Manchester Metropolitan University's Research Repository

    Understanding Sexual and Gender-Based Violence against Refugees with a Communication Disability and challenges to accessing appropriate support: A literature review

    Marshall, Julie E. and Barrett, Helen (2017) Understanding Sexual and Gender-Based Violence against Refugees with a Communication Disability and challenges to accessing appropriate support: A literature review. [Dataset] (Unpublished)

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    This literature review: understanding Sexual and Gender-Based Violence against Refugees with a Communication Disability(CD), and challenges to accessing appropriate support, was undertaken as part of a collaborative project by Manchester Metropolitan University, Communicability Global, UNHCR Rwanda and Institute for Human Centered Design, in 2016. This review describes, synthesises and summarises contributions made to the literature in the fields of disability, communication disability, and sexual and gender-based violence both in humanitarian and non-humanitarian contexts. The review was not conducted using a formal systematic review system. Both a keyword search, using identical search terms across electronic search sites, and snowball search strategies were used to identify the most appropriate literature for inclusion. Literature was sourced through the Manchester Metropolitan University library system and open web-based sources. Only English-language publications were reviewed. Key findings were: People with disabilities are at increased risk of SGBV. People with disabilities are under-identified in humanitarian contexts and fail to access the protection they need. Those identified usually have visible impairments. There is a lack of evidence of the prevalence of SGBV for people with disabilities in humanitarian contexts. People with intellectual impairments, and those with communication needs, are particularly at risk. CD is recognised as a key vulnerability factor in exposure to SGBV. People with CD are described as ‘the perfect victim’ by perpetrators (due to reduced ability to report, discreditation of their story by others, increased susceptibility to coercion, smaller social networks and ‘access’ during intimate care activities). There are no data available on the size and nature of the challenges facing refugee-survivors of SGBV with CD in accessing support. People with CD fail to access sexual and reproductive health education (SRHE). It is difficult for PWCD to report due to: communication limitations, key support services do not understand CD or how to support people and due to stigma and discreditation. Lack of support follows on from the reduced ability to report in the first place Recommendations: • Identification and registration of refugees with CD • Inclusive SRHE, especially for adolescent girls • Awareness-raising and training on CD for all actors within the criminal justice system • Provision of appropriate communication methods for dissemination of information, reporting and support • Including people with CD as partners in the SRHE and SGBV service-planning process • Inclusionary, non-discriminatory practice integral to all programming and community support – rights-based approach • Multi-agency collaboration with technical expertise • High-quality funded research on SGBV, CD and refugees in low and middle-income countries.

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