Male and LGBT survivors of sexual violence in conflict situations: a realist review of health interventions in low-and middle-income countries

February 26, 2020
Sexual Violence in ConflictLaura Pasquero

This study aimed to identify how, why, and in what circumstances existing medical and MHPSS interventions improve physical and mental health outcomes among male and LGBT survivors of CRSV. We chose to conduct a realist review as it aims to identify how, why, and what programmes or interventions work in particular settings and contexts. It involves trying to determine causal relationships between outcomes, underlying mechanisms, and contexts [37]. Indeed, realist analyses are structured using context-mechanism-outcome (CMO) configurations, in which findings on context and mechanisms are used to explain how interventions produce determined outcomes among diverse subgroups in exposed populations. We followed the RAMSES quality standard for realist reviews [38]. The protocol for the systematic realist review is registered in PROSPERO (reference: CRD42019135072).

...Our review clearly suggests an evidence gap on health provision to male and LGBT survivors of CRSV. Further research needs to be conducted on male and LGBT survivors of CRSV to inform gender-appropriate and effective responses to the physical and mental health outcomes of these populations. The relatively new focus on research among men who experience sexual violence is not intended to deviate attention, further research, or funding from the pervasive sexual violence that women experience in conflict settings [2, 6, 14]. Instead, it is meant to widen our understanding of how to improve assistance to all survivors, independent of their gender identity or sexual orientation. As noted by Baker and colleagues [155], “any serious effort to improve public health must include attention to the health needs of both sexes and responsiveness to the differences between them”. We agree with the authors and add: to be truly inclusive, these efforts must address the health needs of all individuals of different sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics.

-- Excerpted from paper

Laura PasqueroLaura Pasquero

Laura coordinates the Course “Addressing Sexual Violence in Conflict and Emergency Settings”, offered by the Geneva Centre of Humanitarian Studies, which helps humanitarian managers conceive holistic interventions centred on survivors’ rights, needs and wishes. Laura also conducts research and provides technical advice and support to humanitarian, human rights and civil society organisations, and governments in the area of prevention and response to sexual violence and other form on gender-based violence against people of all genders in various contexts. On sexual violence against men and boys specifically, Laura works with the organisation All Survivors Project to help improving humanitarian responses for men, boys and/including LGBTIQ+ populations in conflict and displacement settings through research and advocacy.

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