Women and children face significantly increased risks of sexual violence during conflict and natural disaster. The IRC’s experience has shown that programs are typically designed to meet the specific needs of adult women, yet girls under the age of 18 often make up the majority of clients reporting to sexual assault and referral centers. GBV emergency responders consistently request support to better serve the needs of this particularly vulnerable population of clients; therefore, the IRC aimed to introduce a new evidence-based program model to increase the capacity of emergency responders to meet child survivors’ needs more rapidly and appropriately when emergencies strike. The evaluation aimed to assess the feasibility and performance of an adapted mental health intervention in reducing psychological distress and increasing functioning of child survivors of sexual violence and other forms of trauma in refugee settings. Findings showed that following the intervention, children and their caregivers reported an average decrease in children’s internalizing or emotional problems, an average decrease in children’s externalizing or behavior problems, a large reduction in children’s attention, thought, and social problems, and an average increase in the children’s wellbeing.
The Airbel Impact Lab at IRC is a team of researchers, strategists and innovators committed to the accelerated design, rigorous evaluation and cost-effective scaling of the most impactful solutions supporting people affected by crisis.