Preventing Violence Against Women and Children – Workshop Summary
Across the world, violence against women and children poses a high burden on global health. Women and children are particularly susceptible to violence because often they have fewer rights or lack legal protection. Many women and children victims of violence know their perpetrators – often as family members or intimate partners – and are sometimes hesitant to report the crimes. Sometimes, a “cycle of violence” occurs, in which the victim eventually becomes a perpetrator. Over the last decade, researchers have gathered data on the growing magnitude of this violence, but many knowledge gaps still remain. The IOM Forum on Global Violence Prevention held its first workshop January 27-28, 2011 to explore the prevention of violence against women and children. The workshop was designed to examine approaches to violence prevention from multiple perspectives and diverse levels of society. The workshop brought together stakeholders to discuss intervention strategies to prevent violence before it starts, prevent the recurrence of violence, prevent violence-related trauma, and stop the spread of violence to the next generation or social level. Speakers suggested a need to advance research on the co-occurrence of abuse on both child and partner, changing social norms, and the state of violence prevention research in low- and middle-income countries. This document is a summary of the workshop.