Collaborating institutions and partners unite to advocate for the eradication of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), aiming to enhance care services and eliminate violence against women and children by 2030.

During a workshop on SGBV prevention held on December 12, Var Chivorn, the executive director of the Reproductive Health Association of Cambodia (RHAC), stated RHAC’s focus on strengthening sexual health services, reproductive health and rights. 

He said RHAC has also actively contributed to ending SGBV through gender mainstreaming, education and providing comprehensive care for survivors of violence.

He noted that the workshop’s objective was to find ways to eradicate gender-based violence and harmful practices against women and children by 2030, and to mobilise support for survivors from service providers at both national and sub-national levels and partner organisations.

“We all contribute to making a positive impact, working together to strengthen efforts against sexual and gender-based violence while aiming to eliminate violence against women and children. Our commitment aligns with achieving Cambodia’s Sustainable Development Goals through the ICPD Programme of Action,” he said.

Tes Chansaroeun, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, noted that violence against women and girls is a direct violation of human rights, posing immediate threats to their lives and causing long-term negative effects on mental health, sexual and reproductive health.

Referring to research findings, she added that children exposed to domestic violence may perpetuate a cycle of violence as they mature. Notably, boys are statistically more prone to using violence against their partners than girls.

“The impact of violence against women is significant, placing substantial economic and social burdens on governments. This burden, costing millions of dollars, includes healthcare expenses, lost productivity, the need for safe spaces for women and children, social services for women’s rehabilitation, legal services and other crucial support services for survivors,” Chansaroeun explained.

The ministry has crafted guidelines outlining minimum standards for assistance services. They’ve established a multi-sectoral response team dedicated to addressing gender-based violence and a multi-service facility to aid survivors. Assistance is accessible through a telephone service, GBV-Safe App, Chat-bot, GBV Digital Data Collection, empowering women to report rights violations and incidents of harassment. 

The ministry also implements data collection and ongoing capacity development programmes for national and sub-national service providers, ensuring a comprehensive approach to preventing and addressing violence rooted in gender inequality.