Gianina Pellegrini - Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in Refugee and Internally Displaced Camps




Research on violence against women in conflict-affected settings commonly focuses on violence perpetrated by armed groups and/or government actors; less attention is given to the increase of intimate partner violence (IPV), particularly for women who reside in refugee or internally displaced camps, during times of widespread conflict. Loss of family, friends, home, and identity during displacement results in extreme shifts in family dynamics and social roles. Gendered social roles—such as men being family providers and women being submissive to their male partners while tending to child rearing and household chores—are intensified in refugee and internally displaced camps. Women in refugee camps report experiencing several forms of IPV: beatings, physical threats, and being forced to have sex were among the most commonly reported forms of IPV violence against women in one study in three refugee camps.

The global reality is that women are subjected to violence on the basis of gender at a high rate during times of peace—globally, 1 in 3 women have experienced physical and/or sexual IPV or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime —it is therefore not surprising that IPV against women is exacerbated during times of war and displacement. This presentation will address the increase in IPV against women in refugee and internally displaced camps, the most common types of IPV experienced by women in camps, and potential triggers for the increase in IPV. Illustrations of international efforts to prevent IPV against women in refugee and internally displaced camps will also be discussed.


About the Author:

Dr. Gianina Pellegrini holds a Ph.D. in psychology, with a specialization in Transformative Social Change, from Saybrook University. She also holds a graduate certificate in Peace and Conflict Resolution from Saybrook University and a certificate in International Conflict Management from the International Peace and Security Institute. Dr. Pellegrini’s research and work concentrate on supporting survivors of violence and trauma (specifically survivors of sexual violence), defending human rights, and achieving nonviolent resolutions to conflict.