The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law announces the launch of the All Survivors Project, documenting sexual and gender based violence against boys and men in situations of armed conflict and displacement. The project, supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees ( UNHCR ), will provide best practices and policy recommendations to improve the global response for all victims.
"Boys and men who are sexually abused should not suffer in silence," said Charu Lata Hogg, All Survivors Project's Founder Director. "Our aim is to build upon and expand the global movement to end conflict-related gender-based violence against women and girls."
Information on the patterns, severity and scale of sexual and gender based violence against boys and men in situations of conflict and displacement is lacking. The global response on this issue has been inadequate with few international instruments addressing it. The absence of targeted services for male victims not only fails to address the unique needs of boys and men, but also contributes to the problem of under-reporting. In addition, the victimization of males through sexual violence, if left unaddressed, may have a long term impact affecting families and communities.
"Ideas about gender and masculinity play a major role in sexual violence against men and boys," said Lara Stemple, Director of the Health and Human Rights Law Project at UCLA School of Law and an advisor on the project. "Sexual violence against men and boys is also fueled by homophobic norms which see same-sex victimization as the ultimate way to humiliate victims in situations of conflict."
"The project will be developed in cooperation with academics, practitioners, United Nations member states, United Nations organizations and civil society groups," said Andrew Park, The Williams Institute's International Program Director. "This project will produce a series of national situational analysis reports on sexual and gender-based violence against men and boys. Sexual violence against male transgender and Gay or Bisexual male survivors in situations of conflict and displacement will be included."
These situational analyses will provide recommendations to improve the protection of male survivors and identify medical and psychosocial responses specific to their needs. The overall aim of the project is to inform and improve humanitarian and policy responses to sexual violence for all victims through a more gender-inclusive and holistic understanding of the prevalence, patterns, severity, and impact of sexual violence on victims and communities.
All Survivors Project will have staff in Los Angeles and London.
The Williams Institute, a think tank on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy, is dedicated to conducting rigorous, independent research with real-world relevance.
The Health and Human Rights Law Project at UCLA School of Law seeks to improve global health by using a framework grounded in international human rights law. Through multi-disciplinary research, training and mentorship, the Project aims to examine the relationship between health and human rights and to foster the next generation of leaders working in this area.