Form 8 Advocacy Strategy: Women Survivors of Rape Receive Medical Care and Justice without Form 8

Women victims of rape in Darfur used to be denied post-trauma medical assistance unless they agreed to complete Form 8. Form 8 is a one page reporting document produced by the Ministry of Justice to record physical injuries related to criminal acts. However, many survivors have reported that in the past they have been informed that Form 8 was not available. This meant many women would return home without treatment or a report that could lead to an arrest of a perpetrator

Responding to the international community’s calls for the right of survivors of rape to medical care and access to justice, this law was amended in 2005. As a result, women can now have access to life-saving treatment without filingaForm8.Inaddition,theMinistryof Justice established the National Action Plan on Combating Form 8 Advocacy Strategy: Women Survivors of Rape Receive Medical Care and Justice without Form 8 Volume 3Violence against Women as well set up a Committee for Combating Gender-Based Violence in each of the three Darfur states.

However, most people in Darfur, including women, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) community leaders, health workers, and police officersareunawareofthechangesinthelaw.Aftermorethanfouryearsofadvocacyeffortsby theinternationalcommunity,Form8is still regarded as one of the key barriers for Gender-Based Violence (GBV) survivors seeking medical care and access to justice in Darfur.

Responding to the need to disseminate life-saving information to all stakeholders in Darfur, UNDP in partnership with UNFPA and UNAMID partnered to design an advocacy tool entitled: Form 8 Advocacy Strategy. The strategy is articulated around three key messages:
1. Form 8 is not required for the police to arrest a perpetrator
2. Form 8 is not required to open a case in a court of law
3. Form 8 is not required to prove a case in a court of law

In a workshop organized by UNIFEM on 26 October 2008 on GBV issues, UNDP presented the key messages in Form 8 to more than 50 police officersandinspectors.UNDPwillcontinuetoconductpublicawarenesscampaignsabouttheForm8 AdvocacyStrategywithIDPs, women’s groups, national and international NGOs.

The organization also plans to educate police officersaboutthethreekeymessagesinForm8.

Working closely with UNFPA and UNAMID, the UNDP Darfur Rule of Law programme has provided legal aid services to survivors of GBV, through its Legal Aid Network (LAN) for over 3 years. More than 60 LAN lawyers working in all three Darfur states receive cases from a variety of sources including from partners at UNFPA and UNAMID. The network has handled 432 cases since 2006, 306 of which involve criminal charges. Rape cases constitute nearly 19% of the total criminal caseload and 23% of the total IDP criminal caseload.

UNDP’s Rule of Law programme is being funded by the Netherlands, UK Department for International Development, Swedish International Development Agency and UNDP.

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