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Guidance Document for cultural mediators working at services for GBV survivors

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Launched in 2018, “SURVIVOR” is a project funded by the European Union, that brings together a consortium of key state institutions (GSGE, KETHI), the leading Greek GBV organisation (CRWI Diotima), and the Greek branch of the global humanitarian actor for GBV (IRC

Hellas).

The action focuses on strengthening existing services on Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Greece—on the islands and mainland—by building their capacity to reach survivors from the refugee and migrant populations.

Through the project the consortium aims to enhance the quality and access of services for refugee and migrant GBV survivors in Greece and to strengthen GBV programming through transnational dialogue and sharing of best practices.

In this context, CRWI DIOTIMA provided GBV training and sensitization to cultural mediators working at the public sector services for GBV survivors (Counseling Centers, Shelters, SOS Line).

The seminar created the space for mediators to discuss their perceptions on gender and gender based violence and also reframed and re-iterated the basic principles of gender sensitive cultural mediation.

Cultural mediators working within the context of support services for GBV survivors are crucial in developing the trust required for each survivor to achieve her optimal outcome.

Their role bridges the distance between case worker and survivor and reduces anxiety and pain that the support system might otherwise create to beneficiaries.

When working with GBV survivors the cultural mediators must have a broad understanding of what GBV is and how it might affect women and girls while also maintaining high standards of professionalism and interpretation skills.

While they are usually not charged with providing aid themselves, their position requires significant awareness about the causes and effects of gender inequality and GBV.

Moreover, their attitudes should be inclusive, understanding, non –discriminatory and non-sexist, so us not to inadvertently condone any form of GBV or other abusive behaviour.

This guide has been designed for cultural mediators working for both state and non state actors that specialize on the care of GBV survivors. More specifically, it focuses on best practices of gender sensitive cultural mediation and also offers the basic theoretical background on GBV.

The reader can find within the key responsibilities of cultural mediators working at support services for survivors, good and bad practices in gender sensitive cultural mediation, as well as core concepts related to GBV.

The main objectives of the guide are:

  • Clearly describe the roles and responsibilities of cultural mediators within the context of services supporting GBV survivors
  • Codify core concepts and definitions related to GBV so that they become easily accessible by current and future cultural mediators
  • Contribute to providing high quality services

Author:

Virginia Xythali

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