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  • Shreya Sinha


Updated: Aug 28, 2020

By- Archit Vyas, 3rd Year Student at Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar


The persistence and prevalence of violence against women and children have been defined by UN Women as “a pandemic “and by the World Health Organization as a “public health problem of widespread proportions”, affecting at least 35 to 70 percent of women and children all over the globe according to national studies. [1]In 2013, the WHO stated that when more than one in three women worldwide (35.6%) have reported having faced sexual or physical violence then violence against women evidently “saturates all corners of the globe. Further, it puts women's health at risk, limits their participation in society, and causes great human grief. Given the high rates at which girls and boys experience violence, this presents a disturbing picture of the extent to which children have to live with the effect of violence, in the absence of support or services.

  • [2]Violence against women and children is a multifaceted problem with causes at the individual, close relationship, community, and societal levels, so it must be simultaneously opposed on several different levels. The societal ecological model serves a dual purpose in this regard, as each level in the model denotes a dimension where both risks and opportunities for prevention co-exist. Dealing with violence against women and children, therefore, involves implementing measures to:

  • create nurturing, sustainable and safe family environments, and provide dedicated help and support for families at risk of violence;

  • eradicate unsafe environments through physical changes;

  • diminish risk factors in public spaces (e.g. schools, gardens, restaurants ) to reduce the threat of violence;

  • discourse over gender inequities in relationships, the home, school, the workplace, etc.;

  • change the cultural attitudes and practices that back the use of violence;

  • implement legal frameworks that prohibit all forms of violence against children, women and limit youth access to harmful products, such as alcohol and firearms;

  • accessible quality response services for women and children affected by violence;

  • eradicate the cultural, social and economic inequalities that contribute to violence, close the wealth gap and ensure equitable access to goods, services, and opportunities; and

  • coordinate the actions of the multiple sectors that have roles to play in preventing and responding to violence against them.