The eBASE SGBV Dark Spaces House

The eBASE SGBV Dark Spaces House

The eBASE SGBV Dark Spaces House

What is the SGBV Dark Spaces House?

‘Whenever I tell my story of how I was violated, people tend to judge and stigmatize me … so I preferred to stay in my dark space where no one can hurt me further’ Young Female SGBV Survivor, Ntanka, Bamenda, Cameroon. It was on this backdrop that we built our strategy on decrypting and fixing the wicked problem of SGBV at eBASE Africa.

The SGBV Dark Spaces House is a formative study constructed framework that highlights the factors that root (root factors), maintain (maintain factors), and cover (overarching factors) SGBV in the community. These factors are liked to the foundation (root factors), the walls (maintain factors), and the roof (overarching factors).

SGBV Root Factors (Foundation): Poor policy implementation, culture, poverty, waste/environment/climate change. These factors exist within the community and may be beyond the control of individuals in the community. Community members are born into this and usually find it extremely difficult to address them.

SGBV Maintain Factors (Walls): conflict and disease. These factors meet the community halfway but selectively maintain SGBV within the community. Community members can however control them.

SGBV Overarching Factors (Roof): ignorance, stigma, inertia, and silence. These factors usually come into play after an SGBV incident. They require other existing factors to flame SGBV impacts.  
An SGBV victim is thought to be held in a dark space by a combination of factors, this space is usually toxic but maybe more comfortable for the victim as it numbs their fears, worries, and pain for the meantime.  

What burden does the SGBV Dark Spaces House address? 

SGBV victims suffer a burden of health (infections, physical injury, mental harm, unwanted pregnancies), human rights (abuse and deprivation), and economy (loss of income). The SGBV House Framework helps to identify, classify, and prioritize the factors responsible for the burden thus facilitating development of strategies to prevent new cases of SGBV and mitigate the negative impact of SGBV. In our household survey conducted in a peri-urban community we reported a 61% prevalence of SGBV (10 points higher than national statistics), 25% knowledge on SGBV types (Range: 73-3), and 21% knowledge on available services/polices for SGBV (Range: 34-7). 

How was the SGBV Dark Spaces Developed? 

The SGBV Dark Spaces House Framework was developed from formative studies which included key informant interviews, focus group discussions, and a DELPHI II Consensus process. It was developed within the #DecryptAndFix project. The #DecryptAndFix project identified storytelling as an innovation to increase awareness and action on SGBV. Storytelling was initially funded by the Ambassade de France au Cameroun (concept development) and Grand Challenges Canada (Proof of Concept and Pilot).

The term Dark Spaces originated from a quote from one of the SGBV victims. We plan to conduct a trial at scale using an experimental design (cluster randomized control trial) to test the effectiveness of storytelling for SGBV. 

How can you use the SGBV Dark Spaces House? 

The SGBV Dark Spaces Framework is useful in mapping factors existing in the community, this in turn allows for prioritization for allocation of resources for prevention and mitigation.