What are forms of Gender-based Violence (GBV)?
Gender-based violence (GBV) is a serious violation of human rights and a life-threatening health and protection issue. It is estimated that one in three women will experience sexual or physical violence in their lifetime. Gender-based violence can include sexual, physical, mental and economic harm inflicted in public or in private. It also includes threats of violence, coercion and manipulation. This can take many forms such as intimate partner violence, sexual violence, child marriage, female genital mutilation and so-called ‘honour crimes’. The consequences of gender-based violence are devastating and can have life-long repercussions for survivors.
IF YOU WERE EXPOSED TO VIOLENCE in sexual, physical, or psychological form, sexual exploitation or harassment, or you feel afraid of such violence, it is not your fault, AND YOU’RE NOT ALONE.
Where to find help?
Emergency services – toll-free phone 24/7 numbers (SK):
Free psychological support by phone in UK and RU languages provided by League for Mental Health (24/7) on a free phone line 📞0800 222 450.
The counsellor can refer you to further services accessible in your current location.
In-person emergency crisis intervention from Blue Angels psychologists for emergency crisis intervention on spot, (SK/UA/EN): 📞 0944 171 272
The National Helpline for Women Experiencing Violence on a free number 24-hours a day (SK/EN): 📞0800 212 212.
Here is more information for survivors of domestic violence (SK): 🌐zastavmenasilie.gov.sk/adresar/
Information about rights of victims of crime in Slovakia (SK): 🌐pomocpreobete.gov.sk
Free Helpline for victims of trafficking in persons provided by Charitas (SK) 📞0800 800 818.
What about violence by humanitarian workers?
Unacceptable sexual behaviour by aid workers includes acts committed by staff members and volunteers of the United Nations, their partner organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations, etc. against the population that they are meant to serve. They occur when people in a position of power or trust exploit the vulnerability of the affected communities for sexual purposes.
Humanitarian workers can be disciplined – even fired – for unacceptable behaviour in relation to sex. These are the rules they must comply with:
- Humanitarian workers are not allowed to have sexual relationships with anyone under the age of 18, even if it is legal in their country. Saying they did not know the person’s true age is not a valid excuse.
- Humanitarian workers are not allowed to pay for sex with money, employment, goods or services – including goods and services intended as aid to people in need. They must not use promises of these things to make other people accept any kind of behaviour that humiliates or exploits them. This includes paying or offering money for sex with a prostitute.
- Humanitarian workers have influence over who receives goods and services. This places them in a position of power in relation to people who need assistance. For that reason, humanitarian organizations strongly encourage staff not to have sexual relationships with anyone affected by a humanitarian emergency. Such relationships make humanitarian action seem less honest and credible.
- If a humanitarian worker is worried or suspects that anyone in their organization or another aid organization may be breaking humanitarian rules on sexual conduct, they must report it, following procedures set up by their agency.
- Humanitarian workers must create and maintain a work environment which prevents unacceptable sexual behaviour and encourages staff to behave as set out in their codes of conduct. All managers are responsible for supporting and developing systems which maintain this environment.
For more information on how to report sexual exploitation and abuse, please see: Report Misconduct