Study identifies key strategies to combat intimate partner violence and violence against children

This systemic review highlights the urgent need for global action to protect vulnerable populations and create safer communities for women and children.
Growing up in a home where violence is the norm can set a child on a path towards future experiences of violence, both as a potential victim and perpetrator. Loraine Bacchus, Professor of Global Health

A comprehensive systematic review, led by a team of international researchers, has shed light on effective interventions to prevent or respond to Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) against Women and Violence against Children (VAC). 

The study, published in The Lancet Public Health, analysed 30 unique interventions from 16 countries, targeting both IPV and VAC. Key findings revealed common intervention components and mechanisms that lead to a reduction in these forms of violence. These include improved communication, conflict resolution, reflection on harmful gender norms, and awareness of the adverse consequences of IPV and VAC on children.

Furthermore, the study identified significant evidence gaps in low-income and middle-income countries, particularly in adolescent interventions and post-abuse interventions for women and children. While therapeutic programs in high-income countries show promise, their feasibility in lower-income settings remains uncertain.

Despite these challenges, the research emphasised the importance of coordinated prevention and response programs. The study revealed that there were more prevention interventions in lower-income settings addressing both forms of violence.  However, response interventions for both IPV and VAC are predominantly implemented in high-income countries, leaving a critical gap in low-resource settings.

Loraine Bacchus, a Professor of Global Health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and co-lead author of the study, Dr Manuela Colombini, emphasised the profound impact of growing up in a violent environment saying; “Growing up in a home where violence is the norm can set a child on a path towards future experiences of violence, both as a potential victim and perpetrator. 

“Our review underscores the critical need for future violence prevention and response efforts that not only tackle these issues, but recognise the connections between violence against children and intimate partner violence. Addressing harmful gender norms that perpetuate both forms of violence is key to achieving this.”

This study was conducted jointly with UNICEF Innocenti – Global Office of Research and Foresight; and intended to support the development of a global research agenda on the intersections of violence against children and violence against women developed jointly with WHO and the Sexual Violence Research Initiative. 



Loraine Bacchus, Manuela Colombini et al  Interventions that prevent or respond to intimate partner violence against women and violence against children: a systematic review - The Lancet Public Health

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