Two years ago, we published a report exploring how behavioural science could help survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV). Back then, global rates of violence against women and girls (VAWG) were alarming, with one in three women having experienced physical or sexual abuse, the majority of which was committed by intimate partners.
There is now evidence that the pandemic might have exacerbated gender-based violence, particularly with regards to IPV.
In our 2019 report, we created a framework to help policy makers design evidence-based solutions focusing on the relationship between survivors and service providers. When addressing VAWG, this framework sets to break down the complex problem of gender-based violence into behaviours, actors and their context.
During the UN’s upcoming 16 days of activism against gender-based violence (November 25 to December 10), we will be publishing a series of blogs outlining the projects we’ve been running across the globe to address violence against women and girls. The results fall into 3 keys areas as outlined in our IPV framework, including:
- Seeking – Facilitating help-seeking among survivors: In Honduras, during the COVID-19 lockdowns, we explored whether social media ads could increase the visits to the government’s GBV support services website during the COVID-19 lockdown.
- Responding – Improving service providers’ response to survivors: In Colombia and Georgia, we are working with hotlines, often women’s first port of call, so that they can better support women and boost awareness and understanding of the services available to them.
- Sustaining – Maintaining survivor and service provider engagement to break the cycle of violence: In Chile, we worked with the Prosecutor’s Office to design a support system for survivors who had filed a complaint, testing its impact on drop-out and charge rates
We recognise that bystander action and work with perpetrators are also equally valuable in responding to and preventing VAWG. Consequently, we’ll also be sharing projects in which we’ve sought to leverage bystander action and work with men to act as allies.
Evidence as to what works to tackle VAWG is still scarce. Urgent government action is required to build and apply evidence on what works to protect women and girls from violence. If you have evidence-based approaches you’d like to share, or are interested in working with us in this space, please get in touch.