Prevention and holistic care of adolescent victims of gender-based violence: Project "WAAR"
In Senegal, the situation of adolescent girls remains mixed. Despite remarkable progress in policies to keep girls in school and the lowering of the minimum age for marriage, adolescent girls remain exposed to harmful situations, including being subjected to various types of violence. This misfortune is aggravated by the absence or the insufficiency of appropriate frameworks and mechanisms to take care of victims and protect those at risk.
In this context, CEFOREP, the Regional Center for Training, Research and Advocacy in Reproductive Health, in partnership with the Siggil Jiggen Network and the organization “Parole aux Jeunes”, intends to carry out action research with the goal of building a holistic approach to enhancing the reproductive health of adolescent girls, while reducing the incidence of violence to which they are victims. There are three types of violence that are considered to be the most frequently inflicted on adolescent girls in the region of Thiès, where the communes of Thiadiaye and Tivaouane are located, that was selected for the study. These are sexual violence, early and/or forced marriage, and psychological violence.
This action research will be based on interventions that will revolve around the sensitization and mobilization of young people, communities, and decision-makers; the implementation of monitoring units against gender-based violence against adolescent girls; and a reorganization of medical, social, and community services to provide better care for victims of violence. Thus, this project will make it possible to identify adolescent girls at risk, draw a portrait of the victims and their journeys, and, on this basis, to propose effective interventions including a model of high-quality integrated care.
This study is part of the cohort of five research projects supported by the Program “Improving the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of Adolescent Girls in Senegal - ADOS” funded by IDRC and Global Affairs Canada. Its implementation will help strengthen national strategies for adolescents/young people, particularly the National Strategy for Adolescent/Youth Health in Senegal and the Strategic Plan for Sexual and Reproductive Health of Adolescents/Youth in Senegal.