Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) is a life-threatening, health, human rights, and protection issue.

It is never too late to report or seek help

What is SGBV?

Physical and emotional violence—in the form of force, coercion, threats, and deception— against another because of their sex or gender is considered SGBV. While many victims and survivors are women and girls, men and boys can also suffer from SGBV.

Types of SGBV:

  • Rape: Unwanted, non-consensual penetration. This includes any sexual activity with a child below age 18.
  • Sexual Assault: Any sexual threat or act conducted without consent, including within a marriage. This includes any sexual activity with a child below age 18, female genital mutilation (FGM), sexual abuse and harassment, exploitation, and forced prostitution.
  • Physical assault: Threats or acts of physical harm, with or without weapons. This including beating, punching, maiming, killing.
  • Forced Marriage: marriage against a person’s will.
  • Child Marriage: Any marriage of a child (below age 18), of any gender
  • Denial of resources, opportunities, or services: Social and economic isolation and denial of access to education, healthcare (including contraceptives), employment, and basic rights.
  • Psychological/emotional abuse: Infliction of mental or emotional pain, including threats of harm or practices that insult, degrade, humiliate, or isolate a person from their friends and family. These may also include verbal harassment, destruction of cherished things, unwanted attention, or menacing remarks, gestures or written words

These forms of violence may occur between family members or those in an intimate relationship. Perpetrators may be strangers, acquaintances, family members or those considered as family members, regardless of whether they live in the same household.

Services to address SGBV

UNHCR works in partnership with other stakeholders to address root causes and contributing factors of SGBV, as well as to provide quality survivor-centred case management and psychosocial support services.

Services provided may include but are not limited to: 

  • Safe spaces for women, girls, and communities
  • SGBV case management services, including referrals
  • Structured psychosocial and legal services in the context of SGBV response
  • Interventions that empower persons at risk and survivors of SGBV and address harmful attitudes and social norms. 

Additional services may be available for anyone with particular GBV-related concerns, regardless of and gender—if you are in need of shelter or services, please contact the IIC for a confidential referral.

How to seek help

Experiencing SGBV is never your fault.

If you believe that you are receiving unwanted threats or acts of violence, speak up and try to get help from someone you trust. It is never too late to ask for help.

You have the right to receive help to stop the situation. You do not need to manage this on your own.

If you are harmed in any way, no matter how small, do not stay silent.

To report incidents or ask for help, call:

The Iraq Information Centre (IIC) toll-free at 80069999. All calls are confidential. The IIC can be reached 8:00 am – 6:00 pm (Sunday – Thursday) and 9:00 am – 3:00 pm (weekends and holidays). You can also request a call-back by sending ‘HELP’ and your phone number via SMS to 80069999, or via Facebook messenger (@IICInfo) and IIC operators will call you. Do not send details about your situation over the internet.
*All calls are confidential and free of charge

Directorate for Combating Violence Against Women Helpline (DCVAW) in the KRI
Call 119

To learn more about guidance regarding sexual exploitation or abuse by United Nations or partner staff, including how to report, click here.

All humanitarian assistance is provided free of charge.