As I look back at 2017, there’s no doubt that it was a watershed year for those of us committed to ending violence against girls and women. Not only because more and more survivors who have the courage to come forward are being believed — but also because global leaders are stepping up and responding.
On September 21, the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN) launched an historic global, multi-year initiative focused on eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls (VAWG) – the Spotlight Initiative. The goal of the initiative is to put violence at the center of efforts to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
An initial investment in the order of €500 million will be made, with the EU as the main contributor. Other donors and partners will be invited to join the Initiative to broaden its reach and scope.
We welcome and commend the EU and UN’s commitment to this issue, and are working to increase our collaboration with Spotlight.
The Together for Girls Partnership was built on the realization that violence, particularly sexual violence against girls and young women, is at the center of many of the development issues the world is committed to addressing — HIV, unintended pregnancy, school completion, gender equality, economic growth. We also acknowledge the importance of addressing the intersections of violence against children and violence against women if we are to truly end both pandemics.
However, to truly eliminate violence we must first understand it. That’s why our work always starts with data. The Violence against Children Surveys (VACS), led by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and national governments with support from UNICEF, PEPFAR, USAID, and the government of Canada as part of the Together for Girls partnership, have provided nationally representative data on violence for more than 10 percent of the world’s adolescents and young people (aged 13-24).
This unique data set is the most comprehensive of its kind for adolescents and young people, providing in-depth understanding of physical, sexual and emotional violence, risk and protective factors, as well as short and long-term associated consequences.
Everywhere we’ve looked, we’ve found unacceptably high numbers of girls and young women being pressured, tricked, coerced or physically forced to have sex. We have also found that girls and young women are at risk for sexual violence throughout their lives — with adolescence being a particularly vulnerable time.
Fortunately, substantial evidence on what works to prevent and respond to violence has been collected in the last 20 years and we now know a great deal about what to do. The Together for Girls Partnership has been at the forefront of this work, providing data and supporting solutions, working closely with all of our partners and national governments in 22 countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America. We welcome the opportunity to work with the Spotlight Initiative, which already includes several of our partners.
We have the potential to create lasting, generational change if we think strategically, act boldly, and coordinate our efforts. Count us in as our global community continues to make history in 2018!
Chief Executive Officer & President, Together for Girls
A quick introduction to the Together for Girls partnership and the Violence Against Children and Youth Surveys (VACS). Understand our unique contributions to ending violence against children, with our particular focus on preventing sexual violence against girls.
This resource provides evidence that VACS data and associated processes contribute to meaningful policy change and action to end violence against children and adolescents and gender-based violence.
The Together for Girls 101 fact sheet provides an overview of our global partnership.
This report highlights three pivotal years of global collaboration as a partnership, generating quality data, raising awareness of solutions, and galvanizing change.
In 2019, Together for Girls celebrated 10 years of partnership. This visual annex highlights key accomplishments from the partnership’s banner year, including high-level VACS launches, global events, and the release of several new resources.
Explore the data in Botswana's Violence Against Children and Youth Survey (VACS) report.
Together for Girls, in partnership with The Equality Institute and the Oak Foundation, undertook a systematic review of proven solutions and best practices to prevent and respond to sexual violence against children and young people.
Groundbreaking country-led action from a decade of the partnership’s collective work in Tanzania.
Learn more about the Violence Against Children and Youth Surveys (VACS), including background on the process for implementation, details about the type of data found in the surveys, and information on where the surveys have been conducted so far.
Read about key results in our three pillars of work: data, action, and advocacy. The report showcases partnership progress to create a safer world for every child, adolescent, and young person.
Read about the Together for Girls partnership’s achievements, results, and priorities from 2016 to 2018.
Watch this video to learn more about the Together for Girls partnership.
Survivors and allies demand change
November 18 is the Inaugural World Day for Prevention, Healing and Justice to End Sexual Violence Against Children and Adolescents.
Sexual violence against children affects children everywhere at a staggering rate — one in four girls experience physically forced or coerced sexual intercourse.
This town hall brings together survivors of sexual violence against children — remarkable activists that are helping change the way we think about an issue that, directly or indirectly, affects all of us.
Friends can play a powerful role in helping survivors access and receive critical care to help them seek justice and start their journey to heal.
Ashleigh Howard — a global health epidemiologist with expertise in violence and HIV — shares her top 10 things you should know about the Violence Against Children and Youth Surveys.
Launched in 2007, the Violence Against Children and Youth Surveys in Eswatini was the first of its kind and a prototype for surveys to come, focused on sexual, physical, and emotional violence against girls and young women.
Together for Girls rang the the New York Stock Exchange opening bell on September 16, to celebrate a decade of partnership.
Together for Girls released a new case study highlighting groundbreaking country-led action to end violence against children and youth from a decade of the partnership’s collective work in Tanzania.
In celebration of Together for Girls' 10-year anniversary, we sat down with Gary to learn more about how Together for Girls came to be — where it all began, the challenges, the successes, and what’s next.
Together for Girls, a partnership dedicated to breaking the cycle of violence against children, welcomed Lena Alhusseini as Deputy CEO today.
Global landscape analysis provides evidence that the Violence Against Children and Youth Surveys (VACS) drive policy and program reform.