Gender-based violence and harassment during war
Alice, 31, is the Psychological Support Officer at the ActionAid shelter in Gulu, Uganda. Her job is to give tailored counselling to survivors who use the shelter, to make them feel at home and to support them to go back home once it is safe to do so.
Alice sees a high number of sexual violence survivors in the shelter. Of the approximate 12 survivors that come into the shelter each month, 7 of those are children. Alice does preventative work in communities also.
She herself has experienced sexual harassment, like catcalling, and thinks this has a negative effect on women’s confidence and self-worth. She is passionate about changing the patriarchal culture whereby men are seen as more important than women.
Her job is tough, and she has to support women and girls who have been through very traumatic experiences. But what keeps her strong is her family background, her experience of seeing girls abused and treated badly during the war, and her belief that girls are every bit as good as boys.
Alice believes strongly that the education system needs to become more equal and this will reduce cases of violence against women. She places great importance on making the shelter feel like a safe space and a home for the survivors that use the services, especially for women whose lives are at risk in their own homes.
Supporting these women has a powerful effect on a community, lifting children, families and future generations.
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