At a glance

CDC maintains strong, collaborative partnerships to address violence against children and youth worldwide. CDC’s collaborative effort with the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children, Together for Girls, and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) helps us continue our vital work to break cycles of violence globally.

Public-private partnership with Together for Girls

CDC works closely with Together for Girls to address violence against children and youth worldwide. Together for Girls is a global public-private partnership dedicated to breaking the cycle of violence, with a particular focus on sexual violence against girls. CDC leads the Violence Against Children and Youth Surveys (VACS) as part of the Together for Girls partnership.

The partnership includes five United Nations agencies, the governments of the United States and Canada, several private sector organizations, and implementing country governments. Implementing countries implement VACS with participation from in-country partners. VACS has been implemented in more than 25 countries with the support of in-country partners.

A full listing of partners of the Together for Girls global public-partnership include:

United Nations partners

  • United Nations Children's Fund.
  • Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS.
  • United Nations Women.
  • World Health Organization.
  • Pan American Health Organization.
  • United Nations Population Fund.

United States and Canada partners

  • CDC Division of Violence Prevention and CDC Division of Global HIV and Tuberculosis.
  • U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.
  • U.S. Agency for International Development, Advancing the Protection and Care of Children in Adversity, and the Africa Bureau.
  • U.S. Department of State's Office of Global Women's Issues.
  • Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada.

Private sector partners

  • Cummins & Partners.
  • CDC Foundation.

Global partnership to end violence against children

The Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children was created to end all forms of violence against children by 2030 globally. The Partnership, with CDC as a core member, includes more than 300 organizations as well as pathfinding countries and cities. The Partnership works to end violence by promoting evidence-based solutions. These solutions, linked to the INSPIRE set of seven strategies, focus on prevention as a response and prioritizing coordination across sectors such as housing, health, and education.


Data from VACS help countries plan for HIV/AIDS epidemic control and support the goal of an AIDS-free generation. CDC, one of five agencies charged with leading PEPFAR efforts, works alongside ministries of health, civil and faith-based organizations, private sector organizations, and other partners to implement HIV prevention, care, and treatment efforts.

A critical component of understanding the relationship between violence and HIV is high-quality, strategic data. Violence, particularly gender-based violence, is both a risk factor and a potential consequence of HIV infection.

VACS funded by PEPFAR

PEPFAR provides funding for countries to implement VACS. This strategic partnership supports data collection and analysis to better understand violence against children and its association with HIV.

Since 2011, PEPFAR, through CDC's Division of Global HIV & Tuberculosis, has funded VACS implementation in the following countries:

  • Botswana (2016).
  • Cote d'Ivoire (2018).
  • Eswatini (2022).
  • Ethiopia (2022).
  • Jamaica (2022).
  • Kenya (2019).
  • Lesotho (2018).
  • Mozambique (2019).
  • Namibia (2019).
  • Zimbabwe (2017).

Additionally, PEPFAR has supported portions of surveys or CDC technical assistance for VACS in the following countries:

  • Cambodia (2013).
  • Haiti (2012).
  • Malawi (2013).
  • Nigeria (2014).
  • Rwanda (2016).
  • Uganda (2015).
  • Zambia (2014).

PEPFAR prioritizes using VACS data for action

PEPFAR prioritizes understanding, preventing, and responding to violence, particularly violence among children and youth. PEPFAR programs seek to address priorities for HIV prevention identified through VACS data by expanding evidence-based interventions focused on primary prevention of sexual violence and HIV. These programs focus on prevention for children aged nine to 14. Interventions are implemented in the Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe (DREAMS) program, Orphans and Vulnerable Children programs, faith-based organizations, and community initiatives.

The DREAMS program provides a comprehensive package of core interventions to address factors such as gender-based violence, exclusion from economic opportunities, and a lack of access to secondary school that make girls and young women particularly vulnerable to HIV. VACS provides essential data to help DREAMS countries plan for violence prevention and response programming as well as target interventions to adolescent girls and young women at the highest risk of violence and HIV infection.

To learn more about CDC's work to combat HIV globally, visit CDC's Global HIV and TB website.