The intersections of violence against children (VAC) and violence against women (VAW) were highlighted at the George Washington University's Global Women's Institute by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and World Health Organization (WHO).
Alessandra Guedes, the PAHO Regional Advisor on Family Violence, noted in her remarks that VAC and VAW share many risk factors. "There are social norms that condone both forms of violence, including wife-beating and corporal punishment, and that prioritize family reputation over survivors' wellbeing and safety," she said.
Photo: Mary Ellsberg, Director of the Global Women's Institute at the George Washington University; Claudia Garcia Moreno, Lead on violence against women at WHO; Lynn Goldman, Dean of the Milken Institute School of Public Health (GWU); Alessandra Guedes, Regional Advisor on Family Violence at PAHO.
Improved coordination of efforts to address VAW and VAC is key, said Guedes. "Evidence suggests that research, policies, and programs that address one form of violence in isolation from others may overlook important vulnerabilities or misinterpret evidence about causes, correlates, and consequences."
She went on to remind the audience that violence against women and violence against girls are political issues and that gains must not be taken for granted.
The event was held in the context of the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence.