Women across the world, regardless of income, age or education, are subject to physical, sexual, psychological and economic violence. Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) is a global pandemic that affects one in three women. In Nigeria, 31% of women have experienced physical violence and 9% have experienced sexual violence. High rates of SGBV in Nigeria and globally necessitate a strong and sustained service response, particularly through front-line service providers such as sexual assault referral centers (SARCs).
In 2018, Pathfinder International, through the Evidence to Action (E2A) Project and with funding from USAID, implemented the Strengthening the Response to Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Project. The project aimed to strengthen the response to SGBV by supporting 10 existing Sexual Assault Referral Centers (SARCs) in nine states across Nigeria. These SARCs provide essential medical, forensic, and counseling services to SGBV survivors as well as referrals and linkages to other support the survivors may require. As SARCs are critical frontline responders for people experiencing SGBV, the project focused on enhancing their capacity to sustain their provision of quality, comprehensive services and strengthening their relationships with other organizations, governments, and communities to create a comprehensive, sustainable approach to SGBV prevention and response. This report documents Pathfinder/E2A’s strategy to strengthen the SARCs and the results achieved through their enhanced capacity to respond to SGBV in Nigeria.