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We Keep It In Our Hearts: Sexual Violence Against Men and Boys in the Syria Crisis

Contributed by a member of the RISE Community • July 23rd, 2018

This exploratory study examined sexual violence against men and boys in the Syria crisis and their access to services in Jordan, Lebanon, and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). In addition to a review of the literature and an online survey completed by 33 key informants, in-country data collection was undertaken in October 2016. Key informant interviews with 73 humanitarian personnel from 34 agencies were conducted as well as 21 focus group discussions with 196 refugees.

Questions probed the characteristics and scope of sexual violence against men and boys, the impact on male survivors and their families, and the availability and utilisation of services for male survivors in countries of asylum. The findings and recommendations presented in the report offer a starting point for unpacking and addressing a complex, under-investigated issue. Given the challenges in researching this taboo topic, sexual violence against men and boys is likely occurring under a variety of circumstances not identified in this exploratory study. Additional investigation and attention are imperative to clarify the scope of sexual violence against males, prevent this violence where possible, and effectively meet the needs of survivors.

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