A Scoping Review on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Medicolegal Service Provision in East Africa

Trauma Violence Abuse. 2022 Nov 17;15248380221134292. doi: 10.1177/15248380221134292. Online ahead of print.


Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) is a leading cause of physical, emotional, and psychosocial problems around the world, with many countries in East Africa having rates above the global average. Despite the high prevalence in the region, service provision for post-SGBV care is often poorly funded, difficult to access, or simply nonexistent. This review reports the findings of a scoping review of literature from East Africa. The goals of this research were to evaluate existing service provision practices throughout the region, understand how provider bias may affect service provision, and compare existing practices to national policies and internationally agreed human rights treaties. This review identified 54 academic papers and reports through a search of electronic databases and grey literature sources, and four main themes emerged: (1) current models of service provision are inadequate to address the medical and psychosocial needs of survivors; (2) countries are not providing sufficient funding for services; (3) further research is needed into how to incorporate SGBV care into existing health systems and align with international human rights treaties; and (4) there is limited research in many countries in East Africa. The findings are likely to be of use to policy makers, nongovernmental organizations, and service providers working in the medical, legal, and justice systems.

Keywords: East Africa; policy; rape; scoping review; service provision; sexual and gender-based violence; sexual violence.

Publication types

  • Review