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EvidenceEvidence Syntheses
World Bank

What Works Evidence Review: Intersections of Violence Against Women and Violence Against Children

This 4-page brief summarises the state of evidence on the intersections between violence against children (VAC) and violence against women (VAW). The authors argue that VAC and VAW frequently co-occur with devastating effects across the life course.

VAC and VAW co-occur most frequently in the household, where children can be witnesses to various forms of IPV against their mothers but also victims of harsh physical punishment by a caregiver. The effects of such violence are intergenerational: perpetrators of IPV are frequently the victims of childhood violence themselves. Harsh physical punishment by men and women can also be driven by past childhood trauma or as a way to prevent IPV in the household. 

VAC and VAW share common social norms, for example prevalence in contexts with weak legal sanctions, high poverty and economic stress in families. Gender inequality and patriarchal norms that exert male control over women and girls’ voices and bodies perpetuates both VAC and VAW.  The review recommends key strategies to end VAC and VAW as: 

  • Tackling gender inequality and social norms in schools and homes (e.g. shifting gendered social norms about peer violence);
  • Promoting peaceful conflict resolution and non-violence in relationships;
  • Working with adolescents on healthy and safe relationships; 
  • Building caring, nurturing parenting practices in early childhood and adolescence.
Date published
  • 2017
  • Emma Fulu
  • Sarah McCook
  • Kathryn Falb
Published by Department for International Development