Phillimore and Yakinthou
This proposal aims to explore the resilience of Syrian refugees who have experienced sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) on the refugee journey. Understanding the needs of vulnerable groups, especially women and children, has become urgent, not only because they now represent over half of the displaced, but also because of their increasing vulnerability within host communities. This studentship uses a social constructionist approach to address gaps in knowledge about experiences of SGBV in the refugee crisis.
The term SGBV enables us to look at violence from a gendered perspective and to acknowledge that whilst women and children are the main targets, men too can be victims. SGBV occurs in multiple situations, thus it is important to consider its emanations and identify vulnerabilities and opportunities for intervention. One such opportunity is the capacity for resilience among victims/survivors. The PhD will help address gaps in knowledge about the resilience strategies employed by victims/survivors of SGBV across the refugee journey. Using resilience theory and a retrospective narrative interview approach we will examine refugees’ own constructions of SGBV, enabling identification of critical events and classification of the resources employed for survival, as well as refugees’ evolving priorities and how these might be better supported.
This understanding will become an important step towards identifying the support needs of refugee victims of SGBV, developing solutions and advocating for policies to strengthen their resilience while driving policy and practice changes.
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