Our values

Our guiding principles

Founded on global learning and the experiences and lessons learned by Together for Girls, our partnership is guided by the following principles:

Strength in numbers
Multisectoral partners and high-level officials at the launch of Nigeria's VACS report in 2015. Credit: UNICEF Nigeria.

Data must guide the way

We believe that to effectively end violence against children and adolescents, we must first understand it. We must use both quantitative and qualitative data to define and understand the magnitude, specificities, and consequences of violence, as well as elevate context-specific, evidence-based solutions.

Violence is preventable

Decades of research have shown that there are effective solutions to prevent and respond to sexual violence against children and adolescents. However, these interventions are not well known or understood, often causing leaders and decision-makers to feel powerless. We curate and elevate evidence-based solutions from around the world to help drive transformative action.

Partnership is necessary

No single actor or sector in isolation can end violence against children or violence against women. Deep, lasting global change for a problem of this magnitude can only be achieved through partnership. We unite different actors and disciplines that often do not work together to address a multi-faceted problem.

Accountability is essential

Violence prevention and response is a relatively new area of intervention for many communities, countries, and development partners. As we introduce and scale-up interventions, we must monitor and evaluate these efforts to ensure we are not causing harm and are supporting the most effective and efficient approaches in each country or context.

Gender matters
Flovian, a photographer and DREAMS ambassador who lives in Korogocho in Nairobi, Kenya.

Ending violence is fundamental to achieving gender equality

We are a feminist partnership, grounded in the understanding that to advance gender equality, we must break long-standing cycles of violence against children and women. Our approach connects efforts between those working to end violence against children and those working to end violence against women.

Focus on adolescent girls

We take a holistic and inclusive approach to ending sexual violence. Efforts to address violence against children and violence against women are often siloed leaving adolescent girls behind. Adolescent girls face unique challenges and experience the types of violence common to all children (e.g., corporal punishment in schools), as well as violence that is much more common among women (e.g., intimate partner violence). They are more vulnerable to sexual violence, unintended pregnancy, and HIV.

Gender shapes experience

A gender perspective is crucial for understanding how structural factors, such as access to education, resources, and opportunities, and rigid gender and sexual norms define the different challenges and risks that children and adolescents face. This includes understanding the different experiences of girls, boys, and gender-expansive young people in all their diversity.

Boys play an important role

We recognize the ways in which boys experience violence and the harmful gender norms that drive its normalization and perpetuation. A decade of data from the Violence Against Children and Youth Surveys (VACS) demonstrates how boys are especially vulnerable to physical violence and experience high rates of sexual violence as children and adolescents. Moreover, boys who experience childhood sexual violence are more likely to grow up and perpetrate violence against a partner. Boys play an integral role in breaking longstanding cycles of violence; ending violence against boys and ensuring their well-being and right to live free from harm is essential.

Nothing about us, without us
Ya Kaka and Hauwa, two Nigerian girls who survived kidnapping from Boko Haram, speak during the Together for Girl's high-level event at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, "Violence Knows No Borders."

Survivor voices must be at the center

We recognize each data point on violence is a person’s individual experience and story. To end sexual violence against children, we must center and amplify survivors' voices — their deep wisdom and great political power can create lasting change. We believe in the power of survivors and allies coming together to demand a safer world.

National and local ownership is key

All policies and programs must be country-led, engage local stakeholders’ input and identified needs, and work towards long-term, lasting change for children, adolescents, and communities. Global data is helpful to showcase the magnitude of the problem, yet every country is different. Having detailed, country-specific and country-owned violence data on prevalence, perpetrators, consequences, locations, risk, and protective factors are essential to guide effective and locally-relevant responses.

Youth engagement is crucial

We aspire to break down the barriers to youth participation in the processes and decisions that impact their lived experiences and well-being. Through our research and advocacy, we create ethical pathways for youth to share their experiences and participate in solutions.