Violence against women and girls is prevalent worldwide but historically has been overlooked and condoned. Growing international recognition of these violations creates opportunities for elimination, although solutions will not be quick or easy. Governments need to address the political, social, and economic structures that subordinate women, and implement national plans and make budget commitments to invest in actions by multiple sectors to prevent and respond to abuse. Emphasis on prevention is crucial. Community and group interventions involving women and men can shift discriminatory social norms to reduce the risk of violence. Education and empowerment of women are fundamental. Health workers should be trained to identify and support survivors and strategies to address violence should be integrated into services for child health, maternal, sexual, and reproductive health, mental health, HIV, and alcohol or substance abuse. Research to learn how to respond to violence must be strengthened. The elimination of violence against women and girls is central to equitable and sustainable social and economic development and must be prioritised in the agenda for development after 2015.
Copyright © 2015 World Health Organization. Published by Elsevier Ltd/Inc/BV. All rights reserved. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.