Synergy for Justice was founded by practitioners determined to address the critical need to support medical-legal documentation for Syrian justice initiatives, ensure holistic responses for survivors of torture and sexual violence, and address the stigma surrounding survivors of torture and sexual violence.
Documenting the scale and nature of torture and sexual violence occurring in Syria has contributed to a global understanding of how to respond to survivors and support their quest for both justice and healing.
545 Syrian cases of torture and sexual violence forensically documented
183 medical and legal professionals trained on Istanbul Protocol medical evaluations
1245 first responders trained in interventions for survivors of sexual violence and torture
523 survivors of human rights violations referred for holistic life-saving services
548 cases submitted to European justice actors
456 women receiving psychosocial services
437 women receiving legal services
198 Syrian women whose voices perspectives and experiences informed the development of protocols to document and investigate sexual violence in Syria
10,000+ Syrian community members who benefited from anti-stigma initiatives.
3,949 Syrian women provided input that informed design of anti-stigma community interventions.
129 community members were trained and empowered to implement stigma action plans.
Stigma action plans completed in 7 communities.
Documenting cases prolifically
Regularly training new cadres of medical expert documenters
Providing survivor-centered care
Making quality referrals
Reducing stigma for sexual violence
Running locally-registered organisations in Turkey, the UK, and the Netherlands
Stigmatization and ostracism of survivors of sexual violence and torture can break family bonds, divide communities, and drive further conflict or violence at the community level, particularly in the form of gender-based violence. Survivors need allies and advocates in their community to help bridge those divisions and to overcome barriers to support, protection and justice. Coordinated community engagement is needed to tackle stigma and its impact head-on, and to ensure community cohesion and coalescence around survivor protection, support, reintegration, and access to justice. This involves designing and developing programmes to map, understand, and address the challenges presented by the stigma of torture, sexual violence, and other ill treatment. Together with our implementing partner, Synergy piloted a new frontline response programme from 2018-2020 on the stigma associated with sexual violence. Building on our first response training series, Synergy developed materials for use by our partners to mentor Syrian first responders as they conducted a gender mapping exercise of three communities in northern Syria and Turkey. Through mapping, we explored the root causes of stigma and gathered data on gender norms in homes, the workplace, and community, and gender-based violence. Building on this mapping, our partners trained and assisted local communities to develop and implement their own action plans to tackle stigma. The stigma teams have piloted mobile community action plans in 7 communities which have benefitted 2,886 Syrians. We have reached more than 10,000 Syrian community members through our anti-stigma initiatives.