Gender-based violence and sexual abuse
Violence may take different forms (physical, psychological, sexual, social, economic, …). Violence against women often occurs for the sole reason that they are women. In this case, we speak about gender-based violence.
Men can also suffer from gender-based violence. Even if, statistically, it is less common, it should not be neglected. However, gender goes beyond the matter of being a man or a woman: a person can be born with feminine characteristics, but identify herself as a man, or a man and a woman at the same time, or sometimes neither man nor woman. LGBT people (lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders, queer and other people who do not meet the heterosexual norm or traditional gender categories, called binary) also suffer from violence based on their gender orientation or on their gender identity (the Council of Europe).
These tragic situations mainly concern women, who are assaulted, or even killed, because they do not respect the codes enacted by men, and they would like to be able to choose their husband, their future, go to school, because they were victims of rape or simply because their “purity” has been questioned. These crimes take place in all settings, regardless of the origin, religion or socio-economic status of the people involved.
The honor code is very tough: women who are suspected of having violated the codes have no way of defending themselves. The only acceptable solution for the family members is to restore the family honour by attacking them (Amnesty International). Nevertheless, the term “honour killing” is controversial among gender experts as there can be no honour in a death. Some activists insist on proposing alternatives on the term “honour killing”, like the more general term “gender-based violence”.
Surgir’s main mission is protecting young girls and women against discrimination and gender-based violence. We believe that it is essential to provide better access to protection services, like legal and social services, emergency services consisting of a hotline available 24 hours a day, where professionals confidentially respond to the victims and make reception centers available to women, where they can feel safe.
Surgir implements awareness campaigns on the themes of gender-based violence, sexual harassment at school, gender equality and other similar themes, to the attention of not only women – who are the most affected victims – but also men, families and local communities. The fight against gender-based violence involves a change in behavior and mentality. Surgir also advocates and acts as an expert at conferences and meetings organized by the UN, by benefiting from a consultative status at the UN's Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
There will be changes only by teaching young girls and boys that they have the same value. Remarkable work on the themes of gender-based equality, the deconstruction of masculinity and the woman’s place in society is implemented in field programs.
It is essential that women victims of gender-based violence can find protection and assistance, but can also take control of their own lives, regain confidence in themselves and get rehabilitation. If they wish to, Surgir enables women to reach to professionals for legal and psychosocial support. When safety cannot be ensured in their native country, their life is in danger and there is no other solution, Surgir supports people in extreme emergency situations in obtaining a humanitarian visa for Switzerland, in order for them to get back on their feet in another country.
Support our programs
Combatting discriminatory practices against women and young girls.
Raising awareness against gender-based violence in schools.
Avenue Louis-Ruchonnet 3,
Phone: 0041 21 311 27 31