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Article

South Sudanese Refugee Survivors of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and Torture: Health and Justice Service Responses in Northern Uganda

1
Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, Coventry and Warwick Universities, Coventry CV1 5FB, UK
2
Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, Coventry University, Coventry CV1 5FB, UK
3
Gender, Health & Justice Research Centre, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, Observatory 7925, South Africa
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(5), 1685; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17051685
Received: 20 January 2020 / Revised: 19 February 2020 / Accepted: 27 February 2020 / Published: 5 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing)
This British Academy/Leverhulme-funded research investigated the health and justice service responses to the needs of South Sudanese refugees living in refugee settlements in Northern Uganda who had been subjected to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and torture. It involved the collection and thematic analysis of the narratives of 20 men and 41 women who were refugee survivors of SGBV and torture, including their experiences in South Sudan, their journeys to Uganda and experiences in refugee settlements, in particular their access to health and justice services. Thirty-seven key stakeholders including international, government, non-government organisations and civil society organisations were also interviewed regarding their experiences of providing health and justice services to refugees. All refugees had survived human rights abuses mainly carried out in South Sudan but some had also occurred on route to Uganda and within Uganda. Despite the significant impact of their experiences, the analysis indicated that there was limited service response in refugee settlements in Northern Uganda once the immediate humanitarian crisis ended. The thematic analysis indicated five main themes coming from the interviews. These included: the nature of refugee experiences of SGBV and torture, including domestic violence and child abduction and forced marriage; issues associated with service provision such as lack of adequate screening and under resourcing of health and justice services; a lack of gender sensitivity and specialist services, particularly for men; the sustained involvement of civil society organisations and local non-governmental organisations in providing counselling and offering emotional support and hope to survivors; and enhancing health and justice responses and services to improve refugee recovery, dignity and resilience. The authors recommend that integrated gendered and culturally sensitive service provision should be adopted, which brings together formal and informal health, justice services and survivor support programmes. View Full-Text
Keywords: South Sudanese refugees; sexual and gender-based violence; torture; integrated service provision; Northern Uganda; health; justice South Sudanese refugees; sexual and gender-based violence; torture; integrated service provision; Northern Uganda; health; justice
MDPI and ACS Style

Liebling, H.; Barrett, H.; Artz, L. South Sudanese Refugee Survivors of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and Torture: Health and Justice Service Responses in Northern Uganda. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 1685. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17051685

AMA Style

Liebling H, Barrett H, Artz L. South Sudanese Refugee Survivors of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and Torture: Health and Justice Service Responses in Northern Uganda. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(5):1685. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17051685

Chicago/Turabian Style

Liebling, Helen; Barrett, Hazel; Artz, Lilly. 2020. "South Sudanese Refugee Survivors of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and Torture: Health and Justice Service Responses in Northern Uganda" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 17, no. 5: 1685. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17051685

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