Catholic Bishops’ Entity Seeking to End Gender-Based Violence in Somalia, Helping Victims

Trócaire programme officers held a GBV awareness programme in Luuq, Somalia. Credit: Trócaire

Trócaire, the overseas development agency of the Catholic Bishops of Ireland, is seeking to end Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in Somalia in an initiative that also involves supporting victims of the vice. 

In a Monday, September 25 report, Trócaire officials say that women who usually bear the brunt of GBV are subjected to “female genital mutilation (FGM) and early forced marriage, rape, sexual assault, and intimate partner violence.”

“Trócaire works in the Luuq district to end gender-based violence and to provide support to those affected,” the officials of the Catholic entity say.

They add, “Trócaire provides support to survivors such as medical treatment, psychosocial support, and GBV prevention and community response programs. Trócaire also distributes dignity kits and solar lamps to women to increase safety during dark hours.”

The leadership of the Catholic entity narrates the story of Amina (not her real name), who benefitted from the GBV initiative after experiencing sexual and physical harassment while at the internally displaced people (IDPs) camp in the Luuq district in Gedo.


Following the incident, they say that the mother of three was subjected to “suffering with depression, causing her to isolate from the community”, before meeting an official of Trócaire who introduced her to the entity for assistance.

“Amina shared her story with Mustafa and Amina was referred to a protection center where she could receive psychosocial assistance, medication, and dignity kits. Amina attended several sessions, gradually finding some healing,” Trócaire officials say in the September 25 report.

Amina who also participated in a women’s empowering skills training program under the auspices of Trócaire and learned how to mend clothes thanked the entity, and expressed the hope that other victims of GBV are reached with such assistance.

“After all the support, my life changed for the better, and now I have all the necessary support from Trócaire. My hope and request are that Trócaire continues to support the women and girls in Gedo,” Amina is quoted as saying.

 A report that the United Nations Population Fund, Somalia Country Office, released last year indicates that “the already large number of recorded incidences of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in 2021 continued to increase in 2022.”

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The report attributes the increasing cases, which are mostly for sexual violence and Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) to multiple displacements, flooding, droughts, and armed conflicts.

“An estimated 4.3 million people have been affected by natural disasters and armed conflict, while some 554,000 have abandoned their homes in search of water, food, and pasture in December 2021” the report indicates.

The report further says, “As a result, there have been increasing incidences of IPV, rape, sexual exploitation and harassment, and abuse, with higher impact on women and girls living with disabilities.”

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.