Gender Based Violence (GBV) at the family level and violence against girls and boys within the society is closely linked to child poverty. This violence perpetuates and exacerbates child poverty and factors that lead to child poverty, on one hand. On the other hand, there is a high prevalence of Gender Based Violence and violence against boys and girls, in families affected by poverty and in low-income communities. The impact of GBV on children lasts well into their adult life.
But what are some of the present facts on Violence Against Women and Girls? UN Women, World Health Organisation, and Futures without Violence reports that:
Worldwide, up to 50 % of sexual assaults are committed against girls under 16.
- Among women aged 15 – 49, 1 in 4 women reported physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner in her lifetime. Up to 11.5% of women reported sexual violence by someone other than her partner, since she was 15 years; and 45% report that her first sexual experience was forced.
- Approximately 130 million girls and women in the world have experienced Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C).
- In the majority of countries with available data, less than 40% of the women who experience violence seek help of any sort. Among women who do, most look to family and friends and very few go to formal institutions and mechanisms, such as police and health.
- GBV can negatively affect people’s physical, mental, sexual and reproductive health and may increase vulnerability to HIV.
- Factors associated with increased risk of perpetration of GBV include low education, child maltreatment or exposure to violence in the family, harmful use of alcohol, attitudes accepting of violence and gender inequality.
- There is evidence from high-income settings that school-based programmes may be effective in preventing relationship violence (or dating violence) among young people.
- Lost productivity from paid work and household chores and lifetime earnings lost by homicide victims total nearly USD 1.8 billion
We don’t take these grave statistics lying down. At Arigatou International – End Child poverty, through our youth network; the African Children and Youth Network for Human Rights /Réseau des Enfants et Jeunes Africains pour les Droits Humains (REJADH), we work towards promotion of the rights and dignity of girls and women by addressing GBV, as a driver of Child Poverty.