Physical or sexual violence is a public health problem that affects more than one third of all women globally.
Download STRIVE's one-page summary.
The first systematic study of the global prevalence of two forms of violence against women (VAW) — violence by an intimate partner and sexual violence by someone other than a partner – was undertaken by the Gender, Violence and Health Centre at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the South African Medical Research Council.
From these findings, we learn that women experience violence in every region of the world. However, the variation across regions suggests that violence against women is not inevitable or “natural” but rather can be addressed and reduced.
The report details the effects of violence on women’s physical, sexual, reproductive and mental health, including:
- Death and injury
- Alcohol use problems
- Sexually transmitted infections
- Unwanted pregnancy and abortion
- Low birth-weight babies
Understanding the prevalence of gender violence and its impact on the global burden of disease is especially significant for STRIVE, as violence against women is a crucial driver of HIV vulnerability.
In What works to prevent partner violence: An evidence overview, STRIVE’s chief executive Lori Heise reviews the empirical evidence from prevention programmes in low- and middle-income countries.
Gender inequality and violence as critical enablers in the HIV response is a presentation by STRIVE research director Charlotte Watts, which details two interventions combining economic and community mobilisation to tackle multiple drivers of HIV among women and girls.
With Raising Voices, STRIVE conducted the SASA! Study, a cluster randomised controlled trial to assess the impact of a community mobilisation approach to preventing violence and HIV. Read more about the project here, watch STRIVE videos about SASA! – a 4-minute and a 9-minute version – and download the SASA! activist kit.
Social norms theory is gaining attention as a useful framework for intervening to reduce violence against women. These presentations from a STRIVE workshop on social norms introduce and illustrate the approach.
Learn more about challenging violence against women in a commentary written by STRIVE for International Women’s Day 2013.
Members of the research team from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine: Lorraine Bachus, Karen Devries, Jennifer Child, Charlotte Watts.