Migrant and refugee women and girls are vulnerable to a range of risks before, during, and after humanitarian crises. Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a type of genderbased violence (GBV) and is among the many protection-specific risks they face.
Migrant and refugee women and girls are vulnerable to a range of risks before, during, and after humanitarian crises.
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a type of gender-based violence (GBV) and is among the many protection-specific risks they face.
As a result of the conflict in Venezuela, an estimated 800,000 Venezuelan migrants and refugees are in Ecuador as of May 2022.Eighty percent have significant protection needs, while response services for IPV survivors remain limited and insufficient for Venezuelans and Ecuadorians alike.
Cash and voucher assistance (CVA) is increasingly being used in humanitarian response. For displaced IPV survivors, their extremely limited financial resources often restrict, or prevent, access to key services, such as medical and legal support. The flexibility of CVA can enable a timely response to meet urgent needs safely. CVA integrated within GBV case management can, for example, help an IPV survivor cover the costs associated with fleeing an abusive relationship, such as legal assistance, temporary shelter and rent, transportation to access services, food, and clothing. However, there are considerable evidence gaps on how CVA contributes to protection outcomes and which design features are most effective in doing so.
Although guidance and toolkits exist on the integration of CVA and GBV, progress is slow in the application of integrated approaches across humanitarian contexts and in the face of global GBV programming funding deficits in displacement settings. GBV specialists who lead response activities with IPV survivors must leverage all tools at their disposal to support their recovery, including the potential of integrating CVA within GBV programming, when appropriate. To promote application and adoption, it is essential that practitioners and donors alike have access to more robust evidence on integrating CVA within GBV programming to implement programming that adequately responds to GBV, including IPV.
With support from the Enhancing Learning and Research for Humanitarian Assistance (Elrha) IPV Award, the Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC), CARE, the Ecuadorian Center for the Promotion and Action of Women (CEPAM), the National Union of Domestic Workers and Related Workers (UNTHA), and Mujer y Mujer Foundation (M&M) partnered in 2020 to strengthen the capacity of GBV service providers to leverage CVA within case management services in the prevention of and response to IPV for migrant, refugee, and local populations in Guayaquil, Ecuador. From August 2021 to January 2022, 113 IPV survivors from host, refugee, and forced migrant communities participated in either GBV case management (noncash group) or integrated cash and GBV case management (cash group) for a period of three months as part of a joint program implementation and evaluation project. Using a quasi-experimental mixed methods research design, WRC and partners generated evidence in support of and provided recommendations for integrated cash and GBV programming to support IPV survivors to recover from violence.