After gaining independence from Portugal in 1975, Angola erupted in a civil war that gripped the country until 2002. During those 27 years of conflict, up to 1.5 million lives were lost, and 4 million people were displaced. The conflict affected all aspects of society; one of the continuing effects has been an increase in violence against women.
Through our RESPOND Project, EngenderHealth worked to build the capacity of the police to understand gender issues and to guarantee quality response and services for survivors who turn to the police for help. Initial goals for these efforts included:
- Improving police attitudes toward survivors of domestic violence
- Training police in their response to domestic violence
EngenderHealth based its later work in Angola on recommendations gathered from a nationwide gender assessment conducted in February 2011. The review identified and assessed current systems, laws, and structures in place to support victims of gender-based violence (GBV), particularly within the Angolan police and health services, and provided recommendations for improving protections and responses for GBV survivors.