Documentation of Survivors of Gender-based Violence (GBV

17th June 2021
Author: Idris Iffat

This review is largely based on grey literature, in particular policy documents and reports by international development organizations. While there was substantial literature on approaches and principles to GBV documentation, there was less on remote service delivery such as helplines – much of this only in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, very little was found on actual examples of GBV documentation in developing contexts. By definition, gender featured strongly in the available literature; the particular needs of persons with disabilities were also addressed in discussions of overall GBV responses, but far less in GBV documentation. GBV documentation refers to the recording of data on individual GBV incidents in order to provide/refer survivors with/to appropriate support, and the collection of data of GBV incidents for analysis and to improve GBV responses. The literature notes that there are significant risks associated with GBV documentation, in relation to data protection. Failure to ensure information security can expose survivors, in particular, to harm, e.g. reprisal attacks by perpetrators, stigma, and ostracism by their families/ communities. This means that GBV documentation must be carried out with great care. A number of principles should always be applied when documenting GBV cases in order to protect survivors and prevent potential negative effects: do no harm, survivor-centered approach, survivor autonomy, informed consent, non-discrimination, confidentiality, and data protection (information security).

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Suggested Citation

Idris, I. (2021). Documentation of survivors of gender-based violence (GBV). K4D Helpdesk Report. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies. DOI: 10.19088/K4D.2021.103


17th June 2021


Continent: Global