The following testimonies were shared by refugees, internally displaced persons and other persons of concern to UNHCR across the West and Central Africa Region. All stories were collected with their informed consent. Their first names as well as their country of origin have been changed. The photos are illustrative.
Gender-based violence is a violation of human rights. It deprives the individual of their human dignity and is detrimental to human development.
GBV is any act committed against a person’s will and based on the different roles that society assigns to men and women and unequal power relations.
GBV can be physical, emotional, psychosocial and sexual in nature, and it can also be expressed through deprivation of resources or access to services. It inflicts suffering on the women, girls, men and boys who are victims / survivors.
By sharing these testimonies, we want to make the voice of these survivors of gender-based violence heard.
Such violence can take place at home, on the streets, at school, at work, in refugee camps or internally displaced persons sites, during conflicts and crises. By better understanding their rights, the existing assistance and the possible remedies against GBV, men and women will better prepared to face these situations.
To be silent is also to be complicit. Let's break the silence and fight together against GBV.
Globally, 35% of women have experienced physical and / or sexual violence at least once from an intimate partner, or sexual violence from another person. This figure does not take into account sexual harassment.
Too many women and girls suffer, sometimes under the watchful eye of their family members, of gender-based violence.
Among the voices speaking out against this violence, some have made the fight against GBV their fight.