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In focus

Our goals for safety

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If people cannot find safety, they will struggle to improve their lives. The International Rescue Committee helps those who are recovering from conflict and disaster seek protection from harm, build safer communities, and understand their human rights.

A woman and her daughter from Syria in their shared house in Jordan.

Photo: Abbie Trayler-Smith/IRC/Panos/EU-ECHO

Learn more about our goals for safety and how we are working to meet them:

Ensure that people are safe in their homes and receive support when they experience harm

How we get there:

  • Supporting women and girls in having healthy and safe relationships, and working with men to change violent behavior and stop intimate partner violence;
  • Ensuring children are not physically, sexually, or psychologically abused, or neglected or exploited, within their homes;
  • Training frontline caseworkers and health workers to ensure survivors of violence have access to essential health, safety, and psychosocial services;
  • Ensuring people in the United States reside in safe communities that welcome refugees, and that they know how to respond appropriately when in an unsafe environment or situation.

Ensure that students are safe in their schools and receive support when they experience harm

How we get there:

  • Making classrooms safe spaces for healing and learning for both girls and boys;
  • Supporting teacher well-being, and incorporating social and emotional learning into school curricula to enhance student well-being in the short and long term;
  • Training frontline caseworkers and health workers to ensure students in schools who require them have access to essential health, safety and psychosocial services;
  • Ensuring that students in the United States are enrolled in schools that are welcoming, sensitive to their full emotional needs, and have zero tolerance for bullying.

Ensure that people are safe in their work places and receive support when they experience harm

How we get there:

  • Ensuring women, girls, men and boys are safe from violence at work;
  • Developing knowledge and skills of employers and employees to maintain a safe physical workplace;
  • Ensuring employers are motivated to create a workplace free from violence and exploitation, including that no children are engaged in exploitative work;
  • Ensuring that, when people are victims of violence in the workplace, they are able to access quality services to help them heal and recover.

Séraphine Nsekanabo Musanga and Marie Jeannette, who work with the IRC assisting survivors of violence, stand outside the United States Capitol building.

Photo: Meredith Hutchison/IRC

Ensure that people are safe in their wider communities and receive support when they experience harm

How we get there:

  • Ensuring that women, men, girls and boys are not experiencing violence, abuse, coercion or exploitation in the communities where they live;
  • Mobilizing communities to protect themselves and each other, and supporting governments and local organizations to protect civilians, build a safe environment, and respond to violence when it occurs;
  • Providing adolescent girls with safe spaces, mentors, and safety networks that protect them from violence;
  • Providing lifesaving services to survivors of rape and sexual assault, and other forms of torture, violence and abuse.

Ensure that women and girls are equally safe from harm as men and boys where they live, learn and work

How we get there:

  • Advocating for the international community to redouble its efforts to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls as a priority that is lifesaving, not optional;
  • Leading research to better understand drivers of violence against women and girls and interventions that best end this violence, empower women and girls, and support the recovery of survivors;
  • Meeting the most significant threats and vulnerabilities that women and girls face in crises by ensuring tailored services and safe, equal access to humanitarian assistance.

Explore our work on safety.

Outcomes and evidence

The IRC's Outcomes and Evidence Framework supports people working in development and humanitarian aid to design effective programs. It delivers key information on outcomes related to health, safety, education, economic wellbeing and power through theories of change that demonstrate how to achieve these outcomes, evidence for which interventions work or don’t work to achieve the outcomes, and guidance on how to measure progress against the outcomes.