Global Health Programs: Prevention of Global Violence Against Girls
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) works to prevent violence around the world through the development and dissemination of science-based knowledge and encouragement of evidence-based practice. A key activity in CDC’s work in addressing global violence against women and girls is Together for Girls, the first global partnership focused on ending sexual violence against girls.
In 2007, in collaboration with UNICEF and local partners, CDC conducted a national survey estimating the magnitude and nature of sexual violence against girls in Swaziland. The first of its kind, the study found that one in three girls had experienced sexual violence as a child. As a result of the survey, partners in Swaziland were able to drive forward critical actions on child protection and violence prevention. The survey also generated further interest in additional countries to undertake similar work.
Building off of the momentum from Swaziland, in 2009, CDC, UNICEF, the CDC Foundation and other international organizations joined forces to launch the first global partnership to end sexual violence against girls, now called Together for Girls. Using the experience in Swaziland as a model, Together for Girls partners will employ rigorous data collection through national surveys focused on violence against children, led by CDC, UNICEF and national partners. The results of these surveys will allow the Together for Girls partnership to inform coordinated policy and programmatic strategies in target countries to support the prevention of violence against children. Data collection has been completed in Tanzania and Kenya, and will begin in Zimbabwe in August 2011.
Where We Work
Public Health Impact
The Swaziland study led to a number of key policy and programmatic actions, including the introduction of draft legislation on domestic violence and sexual offenses to Swaziland’s Parliament, establishment of child-friendly courts and the integration of Domestic Violence and Sexual Offenses units into 75% of police stations in the country. Other Together for Girls countries remain committed to employing a similar approach using reliable data and evidence on sexual violence against girls to catalyze effective responses and foster positive change.