The CARE Project: Building Sexual Violence Survivors' Capacity to Evidence and Research (C)rimes and (A)dvocate for Effective (Re)sponses

Lead Research Organisation: University of Birmingham
Department Name: School of Psychology


Sexual violence is an enduring human rights violation, and its effects are major obstacles to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), particularly SDG5, which concerns gender equality and the empowerment of women. Survivors struggle to access post rape care services and prosecutions are extremely rare, particularly in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs). The lack of data, and weak statistical and technical capacity, pose major obstacles to sustainable development in LMICs. The proposed secondary data analysis will inform policy makers about barriers to service access and case attrition. The dataset provides urgently needed information about the experiences of adult and child survivors in Nairobi who attempted to access post rape care services from 2016 to present day. The results will enable rape survivors in Kenya to use the insights from the research to advocate for policy change while providing generalisable insights for other LMICs. Our vision is to show, via this project, how secondary data analysis can be creatively used to help Kenya and other countries address the global issue of sexual violence. Our ESRC GCRF IAA grant has prepared us to undertake this research and it culminated in a series of co-developed research objectives and questions. Our objectives are to conduct the secondary data analysis to deliver high-quality impactful data research on the nature of sexual violence, post rape care service gaps, and case attrition patterns, and to study sexual violence health and well-being impacts. Our research questions focus on understanding the nature of sexual violence, the barriers survivors face in accessing post rape care services (medical, police, legal), and the reasons why so few cases are prosecuted. We will also build the capacity of the WKF to update their results as new data are collected. The findings of the secondary data analysis will be discussed with policy makers and other stakeholders. Further, the secondary data analysis project will develop a capacity building research agenda that improves the ability of the Survivors' Network to research and document sexual violence cases. The project will engage and partner with rape survivors' networks in other LMICs to share results and demonstrate the value of secondary data analysis in delivering important insights to effectively prevent and respond to sexual violence, helping to achieve SDG5.

Planned Impact

Our secondary data analysis project addresses urgent knowledge gaps about post rape care services and case attrition, and maximises the value and use of data held by the Wangu Kanja Foundation (WKF). The project builds the capacity of the Rape Survivors' Network in Kenya (founded by the WKF) to use the new understandings and insights from the secondary data analysis to achieve policy and practice impact. The project will provide generalisable insights that can be used to address sexual violence in other LMICs. Short-term impacts will develop from engaging survivor beneficiaries and stakeholders in project activities, while medium term effects will occur through reaching out to a wider range of stakeholders, such as rape survivors' networks in other LMICs (e.g., the Phephisa Survivors Movement in South Africa).

The timing of the application around the recent launch of MobApp, an innovative tool that has been developed for documenting sexual violence cases across Kenya, is important for survivors, and other stakeholders within and beyond Kenya.

The project impacts Sustainable Development Goal 5: Achieve Gender Equality and empower all women and girls. This innovative data research will deliver a co-produced, substantive, and critical mass of knowledge regarding the accessibility of post rape case services and case attrition in Kenya.

We will build on the partnerships developed and the workshops delivered through our recent ESRC GCRF IAA funding by opening our events to survivors, policymakers, politicians and practitioners, eliciting their feedback and help in disseminating the findings to achieve the greatest potential impact. Events include stakeholder workshops and a residential end of project conference.

We will also establish a project website and a social media presence to disseminate news about the project and project outputs. We will also engage with survivors' networks in other LMICs to share the insights we have learned through the secondary data analysis. Toward this end, we will leverage our existing connections (e.g., the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative team), and rape survivors' networks in other countries.

Through the knowledge gained via the secondary data analysis and stakeholder engagement, the project has strong potential to provide generalisable insights for other LMICs to effectively respond to and prevent sexual violence around the world, and tackle SDG5.


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