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There Is No Safe Place

Nearly four million Ukrainians, mostly women and children, are on the move in Europe, with a further six million internally displaced within Ukraine. Fleeing war — and their homes — they seek safety and shelter wherever they can find it. And yet, research shows us, that in doing so they are placed at immense risk of continued violence.

In an op-ed in ReliefWeb, Dale Buscher, vice president, programs, Women’s Refugee Commission, and Jenny Phillimore, professor of migration and superdiversity at the University of Birmingham and SEREDA project lead, write “If past is prologue, a new report on sexual violence and gender-based violence experienced by forced migrants shows that current concerns for those seeking safety now are well founded.”

The SEREDA project (“Sexual and Gender-Based Violence against Refugees from Displacement to Arrival”), the first of its kind, spanned four years, five countries, and three continents. It examined the incidence and impacts of SGBV experienced by displaced people who transited into Turkey and Tunisia and onwards through eastern, southern, and western Europe into countries of asylum such as the United Kingdom and Sweden between 2018 and 2021.