The protection sector of AWI is considered one of the most important sectors for the organization. In Somalia there is a lot of (sexual) Gender based Violens (s)GBV and the institutions that surivors (women, girls, boys and in some cases men). There are many stories of sexual assault where perpetrators get away with very light punishments, or not at all and where compensation for survivors of GBV is minimal. AWI approaches GBV from two angles, prevention and response.
Prevention is in Somalia the hardest part. Somalia has three types of law, the Somali law, which originates from the Italian Penal Code, the Sharia law, which is mostly practices in areas in the hands of Al Shabab and the Xeer Law, the traditional Somali law system. The latter is original designed to solve inter clan conflicts. However it is also used for criminal cases between clans. This means that when a rape occurs, the objective of the elders that come together, will be to avoid/solve clan conflict. And this can only be achieved by paying some compensation that is acceptable to both parties. AWI’s activities are geared to make people understand that criminal activities should be followed by a criminal system, making the perpetrators face the law. At the same time a more survivor centered approach and explanation of the effects on the survivor will create better understanding and support in society when a perpetrator is being prosecuted.
Response will be done through case management, where AWI wants to be a one stop location for all people regarding GBV where there will be assistance regarding psycho social support, material assistance when needed, support in regards to security and even support in legal assistance. The latter is not something that is common in Somalia and it is also something that has a direct link with prevention.