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Case Studies | January 2, 2019

Strengthening referral pathways for children and adolescents affected by sexual violence

Lessons from Kenya and Uganda

Violence against children exists in many different forms, including physical, psychological and sexual violence. The majority of countries across the globe have criminalized sexual violence against children, with an increasing number of countries criminalizing physical violence, including corporal punishment.  However, despite the laws being in place, there is still limited evidence-informed guidance regarding how to ensure an effective and comprehensive response to sexual violence against children.

It is widely understood that children affected by sexual violence should access core health and social welfare support, and that a case is built that can be referred to the justice system – all of which require a strong referral pathway within and across sectors.  In 2016 AIDSFree developed Strengthening Linkages between Clinical and Social Services for Children and Adolescents who Have Experiences Sexual Violence: A Companion Guide.  The Coordinating Comprehensive Care for Children (4Children) project was asked to pilot the use of the Companion Guide in Kenya and Uganda.    This publication shares lessons learned from the two pilot experiences including job aids that were developed and reflections on its use.