Client name: Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Project name: Ending Violence Against Women in Cambodia

Duration: 2015 - ongoing

Location: Cambodia

Coffey project manages the Ending Violence Against Women in Cambodia (EVAW) program, promoting gender equality while protecting and improving the lives of women in Cambodia. 

Situation

Violence against women is one of the most pervasive human rights issues in Cambodia. The first National Survey on Women's Health and Life Experiences in Cambodia, undertaken by WHO, found that one in five women in Cambodia reported having experienced sexual or physical violence from an intimate partner. Due to shame and social stigma, most victims are afraid to speak about their experiences and very few seek assistance.

Ending violence against women is key to promoting gender equality and enabling women to fully participate in political, economic and social life of Cambodia. The Ending Violence Against Women in Cambodia (EVAW) program is a joint partnership between the Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MOWA) and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

Solution

Coffey commenced project management of EVAW in 2015, three years after the program started in 2012. The aim of the EVAW program is to change the attitudes that stop women from seeking help and talking about their experiences, and prevent violence so that women and girls in Cambodia can be safe in their homes, workplaces and communities.

Different forms of violence are driven by a variety of factors. EVAW is addressing these through intervention and focussed responses, preventing domestic violence and sexual assault, building on available opportunities and learning from new and existing research. EVAW supports MOWA by recognising their key role in leading and coordinating a multi-sectoral response to preventing violence against women.

The program builds on the second National Action Plan on Violence Against Women (NAPVAW), a policy which sets out key strategies for government, national partners, civil societies, development partners and international organisations to work together to prevent violence against women.

Similarly, Neary Rattanak (NR) is a five-year strategic plan for gender equality and the empowerment of women in Cambodia, supporting MOWA reforms in providing effective gender analysis and policy advice across government. 

Result

A variety of response services has been engaged to respond to the multiple and complex needs of victims of violence. This has resulted in a 40 per cent increase in participation in 2016. Training, self-help programs and community awareness activities have been implemented to understand the impact of gender-based violence.

In 2016 the EVAW program achieved significant results. Some of these include:
• Seven child advocacy networks established
• 35 gender-based violence support groups established
• 59 clients reintegrated to family
• 82 Community Resource Persons trained in mental health care
• 229 clients and families received counselling
• 415 peer educators engaged to improve personal safety.