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Armed Conflict: Sexual Offences

Department for International Development written question – answered on 4th February 2020.

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Photo of Nickie Aiken Nickie Aiken Conservative, Cities of London and Westminster

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what his Department’s policy objectives are on preventing sexual violence in conflict.

Photo of Andrew Stephenson Andrew Stephenson Assistant Whip, Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

Preventing and responding to all forms of violence against women and girls (VAWG), including conflict-related sexual violence, is a priority for DFID. The FCO leads HMG’s work on this important agenda through the Prevention of Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI). DFID contributes towards PSVI’s objectives through investing in evidence revealing both the scale of the problem and effective interventions to prevent it. This has shown that violence is preventable.

In communities in the DRC, a project with faith leaders and community action groups resulted in domestic violence halving from 70% to 30% in less than three years, while conflict-related sexual violence reduced from 21% to just 4%. We are sharing this evidence across Government and with international partners to encourage increased investment globally in effective approaches to tackle sexual violence.

In November 2019, the Secretary of State announced a new £67.5 million programme to scale up interventions to prevent VAWG across development and humanitarian contexts, and to continue expanding the evidence base as a global public good.

The UK is also a leading member of the Call to Action on Protection from Gender-based Violence in Emergencies – a global initiative working to drive system change to protect women and girls in emergency situations.

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