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Gambia Records 310 Cases of Gender-Based Violence, Including Rape, In Seven Months 

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Ndeye Rose Sarr, UNFPA Representative, the Gambia

By Landing Ceesay 

The Country Representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in The Gambia, Ndeye Rose Sarr has revealed that the country has recorded 310 cases of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) from January 2023 to July 2023. 

In the previous year, UNFPA, UNDP, UNICEF, and the International Trade Centre (ITC) collaborated closely with the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Welfare (MoGCSW) and the Network Against Gender-Based Violence (NGBV) to inaugurate the Gender Management Information System (GMIS) Centre.

The centre aims to build solid evidence based on gender-based violence (GBV) cases in the Gambia by encouraging the reporting of GBV cases and ensuring that GBV survivor information is properly managed in accordance with GBV guiding principles.

“Since starting in January 2023, the GMIS has recorded 310 cases of GBV: 100% of GBV survivors who needed medical attention, were appropriately referred, and received the necessary medical services. 99.6% of GBV survivors who reported to a one-stop centre received psychosocial support and counselling. 98% of survivors are female. 35% of all cases reported involved children aged 0–14 years. 

“These cases were reported by adults. Rape is the most perpetrated form of GBV in The Gambia, affecting all age ranges, but children aged 10–14 years tend to be the most affected, followed by adolescents aged 15–17 years. Reported perpetrators were mostly current partners, followed by people unknown to the survivors, and thirdly, family friends or neighbours. 32.7% of GBV cases reported to the GMIS were also reported to the police, while 67.3% did not lodge their case with the police,” UNFPA Country Representative revealed.  

Madam Rose Sarr further revealed that 32% of GBV survivors who reported cases were willing to pursue legal action, while up to 65% did not want to do so. 

She further revealed that 2.2% of GBV survivors accepted places at the GBV shelter. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in The Gambia held a press briefing on Tuesday to provide updates on the state of gender-based violence (GBV) in the country.

The briefing was based on data collected by the Gender Management Information System (GMIS) Centre from January to July 2023.

“The GMIS is pivotal in the development of effective GBV programming in The Gambia and a vital tool for service provision and data collection in the country. On that note, I call on all media outlets and other stakeholders to stand together and reaffirm our commitment to prevent and combat gender-based violence, support and protect survivors, and hold perpetrators accountable. Encouraging a culture of safety and freedom is essential for the empowerment of our women and girls and the laying of the foundation for a strong, resilient, and democratic future for the next generation,” she said.  

The Gender Management Information System (GMIS) Center comprises two key components. First, there’s the GMIS Platform, a digital system designed for reporting cases of gender-based violence (GBV). Second, there’s the call center, which operates as a 24-hour helpline (199) dedicated to receiving reports of GBV incidents.

The call centre is available to survivors or anyone, at any time and from any location within the Gambia. 

This helpline offers a safe and confidential option for survivors and individuals who are vulnerable to voice out violence and abuse, as well as providing them with critical psychological first aid, psychosocial support, and useful information on access to safety, medical care, and justice.

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