Identifying Markers of Success in Help-Seeking Following Instances of Gender-based Violence (GBV) in Nepal Open Access

Ujunwa, Katherine (Spring 2021)

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Introduction: Gender-based violence is a prevalent issue affecting as many as 1 in 3 women worldwide in various forms. Help-seeking is intentional action to end the violence an individual is experiencing, and it is more often done with informal rather than formal resources. Lack of disclosure and help-seeking is a global problem. In Nepal, 22% of women and girls (15-49) have experienced physical violence, among those 66% have not disclosed nor sought help for it. The purpose of this thesis is to explore the forms of violence experienced and the factors that mitigated or stopped it.  

Methods: Qualitative analysis was conducted on data collected during mixed methods evaluation of the Integrated Programme for Strengthening Security and Justice: Strengthening Access to Holistic, Gender Responsive and Accountable Justice (IPSSJ-SAHAJ) program. Thematic analysis was conducted on 23 key informant interviews from security and justice (S&J) providers at baseline and 7 from help-seeking survivors at baseline and midline. Themes were created based on the Model of Help-Seeking and Change proposed by Liang et al. (2005). Additionally, case studies and a matrix were generated for further exploration.  

Results: Of the 7 help-seeking survivors, 4 saw a cessation of violence, 2 experienced continued violence and 1 had an unclear resolution. 5 survivors sought help from more than one location with the police being visited most often. The forms of violence highlighted were physical, sexual, and emotional with scant mentions of financial abuse. Violence was believed to be caused by alcohol abuse, child marriage, dowry disputes and discrimination borne of misogyny typical of a patriarchal society. A lack of knowledge of resources, poverty, shame, and unresponsive S&J providers were barriers to help-seeking, while familial support and increased awareness were facilitators.

Conclusion: Strong social support and perceivably responsive S&J infrastructure improve the chances of a desirable outcome of help-seeking. Additionally, negative experiences with S&J providers coupled with social repercussions may prevent survivors from seeking help. Future frameworks focusing on violence and help-seeking should incorporate outcomes of the process and how that may influence future attempts. 

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction. 1

Background. 1

Chapter 2: Comprehensive Review of Literature. 3

Barriers to and Facilitators of Help-Seeking. 3

Frameworks of GBV and Help-Seeking. 5

Chapter 3: Methods. 11

Chapter 4: Results. 15

Chapter 5: Discussion. 28

Appendices. 34

Appendix A: Interview Guide – Help-Seeking Survivors. 34

Appendix B: Interview Guide – Security & Justice Providers. 36

References. 38

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