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EvidenceEvidence Syntheses
UN Women

Response Mechanisms to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls

This paper examines the evidence base on the effectiveness of response mechanisms for VAWG in preventing the occurrence or reoccurrence of violence. In this paper, we review interventions that are designed primarily to respond to VAWG, but which have a secondary or parallel aim of preventing VAWG or targeting key risk factors that contribute to the perpetration (by men) or the experience (by women) of VAWG. The interventions reviewed are the following:

Police and Justice Sector: Police and security personnel training and capacity building; Police response and advocacy; Community policing ; Women’s police stations or specialised units; Specialised courts; Legal interventions; Paralegal training interventions; Protection orders; Alternative or restorative justice.

Crisis intervention: Hotlines; Immediate response and care for survivors; One-stop centres, sexual assault centres and other women’s support centres; Shelters.

Health sector: Screening interventions; Health care professionals’ training; Referral and case management.

Social sector: Counselling, therapy and psychosocial support; Advocacy and support to access services; Perpetrators’ (batterers’) programmes

The paper presents an overall summary of the strengths, gaps and limitations in the body of evidence; a synthesis of the overall findings, and a discussion of what this means for the prevention agenda. It also presents recommendations in terms of priorities for supporting innovation and conducting research in the area of response mechanisms.