Community Awareness of Gender-based Violence in Cambodia
Program Year: 2021
During emergencies such as conflicts or natural disasters, the risk of violence, exploitation, and abuse is heightened, particularly for women and girls, and especially those confined to their homes when movement is restricted. Since July 2020, The Asia Foundation’s Cambodia office has been supporting the Ministry of Women’s Affairs to raise community awareness of gender-based violence (GBV) helpline numbers and legal and referral services. For International Women’s Day, they developed and distributed materials, including medicine packages and posters, via local clinics and pharmacies in Siem Reap province to promote these vital helpline services and increase more targeted uptake.
A baseline survey was conducted to understand how local clinics and pharmacies can participate in promoting helpline numbers to GBV survivors. Of 31 clinics and pharmacies participating in the survey, 12 (38%) respondents said they have met GBV survivors or their relatives at clinics or pharmacies. Respondents learned that their customers were GBV victims themselves, or their relatives because they were told about the incidents, or observed victims’ injuries. When asked if they were willing to further help promote the helpline numbers, 73% of clinics and pharmacies participating said yes, demonstrating a willingness to be partners in raising awareness of available services for those experiencing gender-based violence. In late April, we will conduct another survey to measure the effectiveness of the promotion of the materials.
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