Gender-based violence (GBV) is violence that is directed at an individual based on his or her biological sex, gender identity or perceived adherence to socially defined norms of masculinity and femininity.
Examples of GBV include, but are not limited to: sexual abuse of children, rape, domestic violence, sexual assault and harassment, trafficking of women and girls and harmful traditional practices such as early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation. These acts can occur in public or private spaces and are usually committed by someone the survivor knows – in most cases, an intimate partner.
Globally, one in three women will be beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in her lifetime, with rates of abuse as high as 70 percent in some countries. Men and boys, particularly marginalized populations such as men who have sex with men, are also at high risk for GBV.
GBV has serious health consequences, particularly when it comes to sexual and reproductive health. Oftentimes, women experiencing GBV lack the autonomy to make decisions about their sexual and reproductive health, and they are more likely to contract HIV and other STIs, experience unplanned pregnancies, undergo unsafe abortions, become pregnant during adolescence and – if abused during pregnancy – have low birth-weight babies.
We are leveraging our network’s experience and expertise in sexual and reproductive health programming to integrate behavior change communication programs, health service interventions and advocacy initiatives that aim to respond to the urgent needs of GBV survivors as well as break the cycle of violence that permeates countries and communities worldwide.
Our social marketing strategies contribute to creating an environment where GBV is not tolerated. We build relationships with partners, stakeholders and health providers to help GBV survivors access the services they need to overcome the violence they have or are currently experiencing.
In Zimbabwe, PSI’s New Start social franchise network provides an array of integrated services that include forensic exams for rape survivors in case they decide to take their case to court. Working in partnership with Family Support Trust and the Adult Rape Clinic in Zimbabwe, they have seen about 1,500 gender based violence survivors for these services to date.
The services have been accompanied by a mass media campaign with three main objectives:
- Getting rape survivors to access services within 72 hours of a rape and informing them where to go.
- Ensuring that survivors realize that they are not to blame for the sexual violence that has been perpetrated against them.
- Challenging negative gender norms that drive sexual violence and leave many survivors without the social support they need to recover.
Our gender-based violence work is focused on the following areas. Click on a link to learn more about our interventions:
- Prevention: We develop behavior change communication initiatives that use mass media, interpersonal communication, community mobilization and advocacy to address GBV and the gender inequalities that drive it.
- Services: We provide GBV screening and treatment services as well as referrals to ongoing support through existing HIV testing and counseling and family planning service sites.
- Crisis in the Triangle: Addressing Adolescent Reproductive Health & Violence Prevention in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras
With the largest youth population in history, it is critical to bring together and evaluate the most promising practices from health, violence prevention, protection and education, to develop – in partnership with young people–programs, evidence based research and opportunities that will transform the Northern Triangle countries into safe and healthy places for young people to thrive.
- Gender-Based Violence: A Review of the Evidence
The review describes the prevalence and health effects of gender-based violence (GBV) and synthesizes the evidence on the most effective ways of preventing it.
- Trusted yet Troubled: The Role of the Health Provider in Responding to Gender-Based Violence in Myanmar
GBV has significant reproductive health outcomes. After decades of isolation, Myanmar is opening up and rapidly changing. Recent research with survivors in two cities demonstrated that GBV is pervasive and patterned. This study asks how the knowledge, experiences, and perceptions of GBV among Sun Quality Health providers and clients can inform the design of an effective health sector response to GBV in Myanmar.
- Gender Based Violence Prevention in Trinidad and Tobago
Globally, PSI has been engaging philanthropic individuals to pilot innovative health projects for girls and women to grow the evidence base and take programs to scale. One such partnership is with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Initial pilot projects are being implemented in India, Uganda and Trinidad and Tobago. In Trinidad and Tobago the pilot project is a gender based violence prevention (GBV) program that was initiated in early 2014.
- Prevalence and Correlates of Physical and Sexual Violence among Female Sex Workers in Tanzania
Data on sexual and physical violence among female sex workers (FSWs) are limited in Tanzania. PSI analyzed the first national HIV Bio-behavioral Survey data to examine prevalence and correlates of physical and sexual violence in this population. Quantifying the problem and understanding its effects on HIV infection and risk are important for policies and programming. Presented at 2014 International AIDS Conference.
- Use of a Unique Identifier Code System to Track Key Populations Reached Under a Combination Prevention Program in Six Countries of Central America
In 2010, the Pan American Social Marketing Organization (PASMO) began implementing a USAID-funded Central American Combination Prevention Program for HIV, targeting key populations at higher risk that are often hidden, marginalized, and mobile. This presentation discusses that program
- Can a Combination Prevention Strategy Reduce HIV Risks for MSM in Central America?
Men who have sex with men (MSM) are one of the most affected key populations in Central America, with HIV prevalence ranging from 7.5 to 11.1 percent. This presentation discusses an evaluation which aimed to assess population-level coverage of specific and combined intervention components among MSM and to determine whether program exposure to any or a combination of components was associated with HIV risk reduction behaviors in this populations.
- Social Vulnerability and HIV Risk Behaviors among Men Who Have Sex With Men and Transgender Women in Central America
This presentation looks at how in Central America's concentrated epidemic, the highest prevalence is found in specific groups, including men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender women (TGW). Sexual behaviors combined with social vulnerability, increase MSM and TGW's risk of HIV. Social vulnerability (including homophobia, isolation, and stigma) is negatively associated with access to condoms, lubricant and HIV testing.
- Barriers and Motivators to Accessing Support Services Among Adult Female Survivors of Sexual Violence in Zimbabwe
PSI/Zimbabwe explored the barriers and motivators to accessing HIV post-exposure prophylaxis services among adult female survivors of sexual violence. This poster was created for 2014 International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia.
- Reducing On-Going Transmission Risks Among People Living with HIV in Central America
This presentation was created for 2014 International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia.