The impact of Covid-19 on ISIS survivors in Kurdistan

The Lotus Flower is so pleased to be a finalist in WJC2021, and very appreciative that our work in advancing justice and the rule of law for women and girl ISIS survivors in Kurdistan is being highlighted. WJC is a wonderful initiative, uniting so many likeminded organisations and brilliant causes around the world - it’s truly an honour to be involved!
We thought it might be useful to share more resources about the Lotus Flower, including a recent report we conducted which shows the impact of sexual exploitation and violence on the women and girls we support.
Lotus Flower PSEA report November 2020
We conducted this study in three camp settings in November, and were concerned to see how violence and exploitation against women and girls have clearly been exacerbated during the pandemic. In fact, 63% of respondents said SEA had increased in the camp since the onset of Covid-19, while 67% said more awareness activities are needed to combat the problem. The report gave us useful intelligence and data to inform our future work, and as committed women’s rights defenders, one of our biggest priorities lies in reducing violence and abuse against women and girls. We hope you find the report informative. You can also check out our project page here: Supporting Survivors: Women’s Rights

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Dear @LotusFlower, thank you for your work defending the rule of law for women and girls. What an important study to do during a time of increased vulnerability. How will your work adapt based on the study’s findings of increased violence and abuse against women? Thank you.

Dear Kurt,
Many thanks for your message and support for the Lotus Flower. This was a very good question to ask us!
Following our study on PSEA in November, we began implementing SEA training for LF team members, in order to better understand how it can be prevented, and what support is required for victims. Upon completion of the training, our staff began work on raising SEA awareness within the community, through group discussions and community mobilisations. This reached more than 1,000 individuals (many more than we initially planned, such was the demand for it). Additionally, we provided information cards and posters to disseminate key messages about SEA, and increased the level of mental health support to GBV victims. This takes place with an expert psychologist who provides women and girls with one-to-one counselling or group sessions - often remotely due to Covid-19.
On balance, we have made considerable progress in providing greater support for SEA victims - but as a small NGO, we of course need more resources in order to keep this work going and to extend it further.
We do hope this helps…
Many thanks,
The Lotus Flower

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Thank you very much for your answer! It’s encouraging that your nonprofit was able to respond so quickly to fill an obvious need in the community. Those counseling services will certainly be a line of help when women and girls are feeling isolated from the pandemic and in camp settings. Hope you’re encouraged to continue on!

Thanks,
Kurt

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