Supporting survivors of gender based violence

Identify needs, gaps and opportunities

Although we are doing more to measure the problem of violence against women and girls, research by the HRP shows that very little still goes into evaluating solutions, especially in low-resource settings. We know how bad the problem is, but we know almost nothing about how best to fix it. And for a problem as complex as gender-based violence, we can’t assume one size fits all. We need not just to measure, but to do, and to learn from doing in every setting.

Evaluation and review

In 2012, the HRP evaluated an MSF clinic for survivors of gender-based violence in Papua New Guinea. Thousands of women and children came each year, demonstrating that when free, quality services are available, many would come. But over 90 per cent of survivors knew the person abusing them; often they lived with them. Our evaluation concluded that medical and psychosocial care was only the initial stage of support required by survivors. More was needed to ensure long-term safety, protection and justice.

Collaborative solutions

Working with PNG staff who’d seen the problem and found their own solutions and partners at ANU and PNG, we established FemiliPNG, a local NGO providing crisis support services. In 2014, FemiliPNG received a $3 million Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Australia (DFAT) grant and has now seen over a thousand clients. HRP evaluation found that key to achieving survivor’s goals is effective, accessible and coordinated services linked to community-based support, referral and advocacy. Building on this, we have started a preschool-based program in Sri Lanka to address domestic violence and alcohol misuse. It’s a randomised controlled trial testing solutions developed by the community, funded by a range of Sri Lankan local partners and DFAT.


The Humanitarian Research Program established FemiliPNG, a local NGO providing crisis support services.

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