Supporting research and collaboration
Support research on the causes, consequences, and costs of violence against women and on effective prevention measures.
In some places few data on violence against women are available. More research on the magnitude and nature of the problem of violence against women, and its costs, in given countries or settings is therefore urgently needed to provide a stronger basis for advocacy and action. More research needs be carried out on the causes of violence against women in different cultures and in different circumstances. Such research should aim to deepen understanding of both the risk and protective factors related to violence, focusing particularly on identifying key factors that are potentially amenable to intervention. Ensuring the further analysis of the existing database established by this Study will contribute greatly to understanding the determinants of the different patterns of violence, both within and between countries and sites.
Research on the male attitudes and beliefs that contribute to partner violence is needed if a comprehensive understanding of the problem is to be achieved. Longitudinal research is also needed on the evolution of violent behaviour by intimate partners over time, examining whether and how it differs from the development of other violent behaviours.
Research to inform the design and delivery of interventions where these do not exist needs to be accompanied by evaluation research on the short- and long-term effects of programmes to prevent and respond to partner violence – including school-based programmes, legal and policy changes, services for victims of violence, programmes that target perpetrators of violence, and campaigns to change social norms. The WHO Handbook for the documentation of interpersonal violence prevention programmes (29) provides useful guidance for the systematic collection, from diverse settings, of information on programmes for the prevention of interpersonal violence. Ultimately, the aim is to identify successful and promising interventions, and publicize the results to promote the scaling up of such efforts.
Increase support to programmes to reduce and respond to violence against women.
While many of the measures called for in these recommendations are relatively inexpensive, resource-poor countries are struggling to maintain their public health systems and social services. New activities and programmes targeting violence against women will have to compete for funding with a variety of urgent priorities for national governments. Even if political commitment is present, it may be difficult to translate this commitment to action without additional funding. International donors, development agencies, and nongovernmental organizations should therefore be prepared to provide financial and technical support for concrete, well-designed proposals by national governments and development counterparts (in particular, women’s organizations) that aim to prevent violence against women, provide services to women who have been abused, or reduce gender inequality.
Donors and international organizations need to support efforts to carry out research on this issue, and foster increased collaboration across countries and regions.
The ultimate challenge is to prevent and eventually eliminate all forms of violence, including violence against women. The immediate task is to support and offer choices to those women living in violent situations or who have suffered any form of violence.