Gender and conflict

Establishing 10 key principles when engaging CRSV survivors as trainers

The Denis Mukwege Foundation

There are several reasons for including survivors in trainings for military and police. Survivors are best suited to inform police and military about the shortcomings of current pathways to access justice, about the consequences of SGBV, and about survivor needs following violence. Furthermore, survivor-led trainings are an effective form of survivor participation, as called for by international bodies, in an effort to enhance peace and the rule of law. The chosen end-users may include perpetrators of SGBV, or individuals who are in contact with perpetrators within their own institutions. Restorative justice theory and practice points to the power of first-hand descriptions of the consequences of SGBV by victims themselves on (potential) perpetrators. Survivor-led training may contribute to the closing down of institutional behaviours and habits, which enable SGBV.

The 10 key principles to consider when engaging survivors are included in this document. They include: Establish ethical, survivor-centered ground rules from the beginning of the session; Survivors develop the content (based on existing trainings); Add the personal survivor perspective; Each trainer has their own expertise and skills; Survivor well-being comes first; Emphasizing the survivor centered approach in teachings; Remuneration is desirable, where possible; Involve a technical expert; It remains laymen teaching; No judgement of the audience is acceptable

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