Understanding and Challenging Sexual and Gender-based Violence (SGBV)

Understanding and Challenging Sexual and Gender-based Violence (SGBV)

This research reassesses and responds to the significant international challenges of countering and mitigating the impacts of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV).

The body of research has evolved over a significant period of time as the understanding of the drivers of SGBV have matured; practitioners (government, non-governmental, educators, healthcare, safe guarders, law enforcement) have become more prominent in dealing with the impacts of SGBV; and the policy environment has consequentially responded to the cause and effects of SGBV and adopted innovative ways of tackling the issue.

This portfolio has resulted in a substantial body of research that has challenged conventional wisdom on SGBV and has created new ways of engaging with affected communities and those that provide services to survivors. The research portfolio is centred around a core group of key researchers located in the Communities, Politics and Identities Research Group within CTPSR. A number of projects within the portfolio have been led by Coventry University in collaboration with other UK and international universities as well as non-academic partners.

The research is structured around three complementary and interacting strands that have delivered change:

  1. The first strand of research focuses on the traditional harmful practice of female genital mutilation (FGM). This builds upon two studies funded by the European Commission Daphne III Multi Country Action Grants that focused on understanding beliefs and societal norms in the context of FGM in the EU and then developing a community- based methodology (The REPLACE Approach) for promoting and supporting behavioural change in FGM affected communities. The methodology then was further elaborated in the CHANGE Plus EC Daphne III programme. This research resulted in the development of the Petals for Young People and Petals for Professional webapps. The findings from this strand of research has changed policy and practice in a number of EU countries, International Non-Governmental Organisations and National Third Sector Organisations with respect to the way they engage with FGM affected communities concerning awareness raising and design and implement interventions aimed at ending FGM.
  2. The second strand focuses on enhancing community resilience to sexual SGBV. This research seeks to identify the prevalence and impact of SGBV in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia and Uganda, and utilised the results to develop a novel framework for enhancing the resilience of vulnerable individuals and communities in these countries. The outcomes of this led to an additional grant from the UK National Health Service to test, refine and operationalise this framework in the United Kingdom (UK) in areas where SGBV was prevalent.
  3. The third strand focuses on producing evidence to support the development of effective SGBV service provision in the community. This research investigates the quality, provision and appropriateness of policy responses and services for survivors of SGBV in the UK and post-conflict countries and those hosting refugees escaping from such violence in sub-Saharan Africa. This research strand was led by Coventry in collaboration with Cape Town University (South Africa) as well as Ugandan based non-government organisations working with survivors of SGBV, including refugees.

Find out about our team:

Professor Hazel Barrett, Professor, Centre for Trust Peace and Social Relations
Dr Helen Liebling, Assistant Professor, Centre for Trust Peace and Social Relations
Dr Kindy Sandhu, Post Doctoral Researcher, Centre for Trust Peace and Social Relations

Find out more about our projects.

Explore our publications.

Coventry University No.1 Modern University No.1 Modern University in the Midlands
Coventry University awarded TEF GOLD Teaching Excellence Framework
University of the year shortlisted
QS Five Star Rating 2020
Coventry City of Culture 2021