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Intersections of Violence against Women and Violence against Children

In the home, violence against women (VAW) and violence against children (VAC) intersect in multiple ways. They frequently occur in the same household, where children may witness intimate partner violence against their mothers and may themselves be maltreated or harshly punished by a caregiver.

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01 VAW and VAC share common risk factors and harmful consequences

They are also underpinned by social norms that:

  • Condone violent discipline (physical IPV and corporal punishment of children)
  • Promote masculinities based on violence and control
  • Legitimise the use of violence to resolve conflicts by male heads of household
  • Prioritise family reputation over help-seeking
  • Blame the victims
  • Support gender inequality and male authority over women
02 The effects of violence in the home are long term and intergenerational

Violence in the home can negatively affect caregivers’ mental health and parenting practices, while children who witness or experience violence are more likely to perpetrate (boys) or experience (girls) intimate partner violence as adults.

03 Great potential exists to address VAW and VAC together

Efforts to address VAW and VAC together remain fragmented and siloed. Few programmes explicitly address the intersections. Nevertheless, collaboration between the fields through programming, research, and advocacy has enormous potential to reduce violence in the family.

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