LibLink: Lynne Feathestone: We must stop violence before it starts

Ellison Sau, Project Manager for the Men Against Violence Against Women (MAVAW) program at Live and Learn, holding a ‘Stop! Violence against women!’ signIn a blog post on the Department for International Development website, as the London summit on ending sexual violence takes place, Lynne Featherstone has been writing about what the UK Government is doing to end violence against women and girls.

She talks about the scale of the problem and the importance of identifying why it happens:

Globally nearly 1 in 10 women has experienced sexual violence by someone other than a partner. This is nothing short of a global crisis.

This week people from all over the world have come to London for the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, the largest gathering ever on this subject. I will be speaking at a panel event to highlight the need to invest in work to address the root causes and social norms which underpin many forms of violence. Because if we are to stop these practices for good we need to know why they happen in the first place and how they can be prevented.

Currently, there are a lot of gaps in the evidence and data on what the common drivers of behaviour are leading to violence not least because of the sensitive nature of the research and data collection. We need to gather robust evidence that helps us develop effective interventions which deliver large scale results.

That is why DFID is investing £25 million in a global research and innovation programme aimed at building knowledge on ways to prevent violence against women and girls including in conflict and humanitarian situations. The, What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls? programme will also be looking at the economic and social costs of violence against women and girls.

This investment builds on DFID’s existing work to support survivors through crucial services, such as comprehensive sexual and reproductive healthcare; specialised police response; psychosocial support; building political will and institutional capacity; and empowering women and girls through education, skills training and cash assistance to survivors. This includes the UK’s £355 million Girls’ Education Challenge (GEC) which has specific interventions to prevent gender based violence in schools.

She also looks forward to the UK Government’s Girls’ Summit in July which will look at ending two specific forms of abuse: forced marriage and female genital mutilation.

You can read her whole article here.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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3 Comments

  • Charles Rothwell 13th Jun '14 - 3:27pm

    This underlies how, in my view, the Party needs to speak up openly in favour of overseas aid which is targeted at such programmes and the successes it can help generate. When I hear the ‘let’s pull up the drawbridge/the devil can take the rest of the world as far as I’m concerned’ Kippers droning on about ‘cutting foreign aid’, it needs ramming home just precisely what this could mean for millions of people throughout the world, particularly women and the poor. Or perhaps, with ISAS moving as it is in Iraq and the Taliban still well rooted in Afghanistan, perhaps they are going to electrify the drawbridge and dig the moat even deeper instead?

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