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International experts share their experiences about preventing intimate partner and sexual violence against women

Participantes al taller de Estados Unidos, México, Guatemala, El Salvador, Panamá, Costa Rica, República Dominicana y facilitadores de OPS/OMS en Washington y GinebraEl Paso, TX, May 25, 2011 (PAHO/WHO) –  Despite the growing efforts of public and social health to decrease violence against women, it remains a major public health issue in Latin America and the Caribbean.

In recent studies, about 7 to 24 percent of women in twelve Latin America and the Caribbean countries have been victims of physical violence by their partners in the last year, and between 5 and 15 percent indicate that it has been against their will, and that they have been forced to have sex with their partners during their lifetimes. However, the proportion of women reporting violence inflicted by their partner is much lower.

The damage caused by intimate partner violence and sexual violence can last a lifetime and extend to generations, with adverse effects on health, education and employment. Consequently, primary prevention of such violence can save lives, as well as protect the physical and economic welfare and development of individuals and communities.

Therefore, the Pan American Health Organization / World Health Organization, reach out to partner and sexual violence, with prevention activities, by considering it a major global health and human rights' issue. By focusing on the promotion, providing health and legal services to ensure the safety of victims of violence, once disclosed, or detection of violence in the context of health services, emphasizing primarily on primary prevention of intimate partner violence and sexual violence.

Additionally, WHO has developed a guide, Preventing intimate partner violence and sexual violence against women: taking action and generating evidence, which has become a key tool in preventing sexual partner violence for researchers in the prevention of violence, practitioners and policy makers, because it provides a planning framework for the development of policies, strategies and programs. This guide has been the basis for the workshop held in El Paso, Texas. This workshop brings together participants from seven countries of the Americas.

Wednesday 25th to Friday 27th of May 2011
8:30 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.
Hotel Camino Real
El Paso, TX

The coordinators and facilitators of the workshop are Dr. Claudia Garcia Moreno, Senior Advisor on Gender, Reproductive Rights, Sexual Health and Adolescence from WHO in Geneva, Alessandra Guedes, Regional Adviser on Domestic Violence and Dr. Maristela Monteiro, Senior Advisor on Alcohol and Substance Use, both of PAHO headquarters in Washington, Dr. Gustavo Iturralde Health Promotion Officer PAHO/WHO Office of the United States-Mexico Border, and Dr. Jesús López Violence and Gender Consultant for PAHO/WHO Panamá. Participants were selected to support the country offices of PAHO / WHO, with multidisciplinary profiles for a comprehensive approach to this problem, from the standpoint of public health and human rights.

More about the Guide and Workshop on partner violence prevention and sexual violence against women

This guide describes the nature, magnitude, risks and consequences of partner and sexual violence. At the same time, it outlines strategies to prevent these forms of violence against women and describes how they can be adapted to the needs, capabilities and resources of particular configuration. It also emphasizes the importance of integrating scientific evaluation in all prevention activities in order to expand the current knowledge of what works.

According to the United Nations, Article 1 of the Declaration on Elimination of Violence against Women, states that "violence against women is any act of gender-based violence, where is likely to result in physical, sexual or psychological damage to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life."

METHODOLOGY: The workshop will apply the method of interactive participation, during which the most important elements of the WHO guide will be reviewed, interspersed with working sessions in which participants are divided into groups and share experiences of their institutions in the approach to prevention and care of women who are victims of violence.

EXPECTED RESULTS: Increase awareness about the potential for preventing intimate partner violence and sexual violence. Establishment of cooperation between authorities and civil society in Ciudad Juárez. Strengthening of the activities of monitoring and evaluation as an integral part of the intervention plans.

Decision makers from the three spheres of government (federal, state and municipal). Representatives of civil society organizations working in the prevention and treatment of violence against women.


  • World Health Organization – Headquarte Office (Geneva, Switzerland)
  • Pan American Health  Organization–Headquarter Office and Regional Office of WHO for the Americas (Washington, United States) and its countries’offices (United States-Mexico Border, Costa Rica, Guatemala,Panama, Dominican Republic and El Salvador)
  • Migrant Health Promotion (Texas, United States)
  • Secretaría de Salud de México Centro Nacional de Equidad de Género y Salud Reproductiva (Ciudad de México, México)
  • Instituto Nacional de las Mujeres (Ciudad de México, México)
  • Instituto Sonorense de la Mujer (Sonora, México)
  • Dirección General de Salud del Municipio de Ciudad Juárez (Chihuahua , México)
  • Instituto Chihuahuense de la Mujer (Chihuahua, México)
  • Instituto de la Mujer (Baja California, México)
  • Comisión Nacional para Prevenir la Violencia  de Guatemala
  • Dominican Republic Ministry of Health
  • El Salvador Ministry of Health
  • Costa Rica Ministry of Health  

Únete Latino América y El Caribe ¡YA NO Más Violencia Contra las Mujeres! (Anuncio de Servicio Público)

WHO Violence against women inflicted by partner

WHO Guide to intimate partner violence and sexual violence against women

Photos of the first two-day workshop

For more information please contact:
Lorely Ambriz, M.S.I.S
, Knowledge Management & Communication Advisor
Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) / A Regional Office of the World Health Organization (WHO) United States-Mexico Border Office
5400 Suncrest Dr. Ste. C-4  El Paso, TX 79912
Office (915) 845-5950 Ext. 42523 / Cel (915) 449-3040  / Fax  (915) 845-4361
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