Help-seeking pathways and barriers for survivors of gender-based violence in Tanzania

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Results from a study in Dar es Salaam, Mbeya, and Iringa regions

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Jennifer McCleary-Sills, Sophie Namy, Joyce Nyoni, Datius Rweyemamu, Adrophina Salvatory, Ester Steven

Over the last few decades, gender-based violence has gained international recognition as a grave social and human rights concern. In Tanzania, gender-based violence is widespread; the most recent Tanzania Demographic and Health Survey found that 44% of ever-married women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime. ICRW and the University of Dar es Salaam’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology, in partnership with EngenderHealth, conducted a qualitative study in three target regions of the country: Dar es Salaam, Iringa, and Mbeya.

This report documents community perceptions and attitudes about gender-based violence, identifies the range of informal and formal services currently available to survivors, highlights gaps in service provision, and provides recommendations for improving existing services. The findings are based on 104 key informant interviews conducted with a wide array of stakeholders, service providers, and duty bearers at the national, district, and ward levels, as well as participatory focus group discussions with 96 male and female community members. The research and recommendations currently are informing the overall design of a multi-sectoral intervention to scale up the response to gender-based violence in Tanzania under the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS (PEPFAR). The effort was funded by PEPFAR and the United States Agency for International Development.