Due to the heightened vulnerability of the population and the culture of impunity, Gender Based Violence (GBV) is likely to occur within the unique living environment such as violent conflict affected area. GBV not only damages the mind and body of the individuals but also creates high psychological and social barriers to seeking help. Additionally, it is often the case that victims do not receive sufficient physical protection or economic support within a conflict-affected environment.
Concerning the above-mentioned issues, in 2000, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. Making reference to the adverse effects that conflict has on women, the resolution emphasizes the need for special measures to protect women and girls from any forms of violence including GBV. The adoption of Resolution 1325 led to an increase in the participation of women in peace processes and improved the victim protection and relief systems. However, it can hardly be said that there is enough support provided to women and girls in conflict zones. Previous research on GBV in conflict-affected societies has mostly identified the fact that GBV does exist or the causal relationship between conflict and GBV. Comparatively less research has been carried out on the help-seeking behavior of victims or the recovery process.
Based on the above-mentioned lack of research, the JICA Research Institute has begun a research project looking at issues surrounding violent conflict and GBV and the challenges to supporting victims. Through studying and analyzing the ways GBV has been recognized within a conflict-affected community, the help-seeking behavior of the victims, and any assistance they are offered by the people around them and the aid community, improvements to GBV support systems will be discussed.
One part of the field research is planned for Northern Uganda where a large number of refugees from South Sudan have fled. The outcomes of this research project will be published as JICA Research Institute Working Papers and international academic papers.