Providing access to crucial data on violence against children and youth
February 23, 2021 — Together for Girls announced that the raw VACS datasets for Colombia and Zimbabwe are now publicly available. So far, 12 governments in four regions around the world that have conducted Violence Against Children and Youth Surveys (VACS) have made their raw datasets public, providing researchers with crucial data on sexual, physical, and emotional violence among children, adolescents, and young adults.
By making the complete, raw data from the VACS publicly available, country governments provide an opportunity for researchers to conduct investigations with the rich, detailed information available in the VACS, helping to increase understanding of and ability to prevent and respond to the epidemic of violence against children. Using the publicly available raw VACS dataset, for example, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and AidData, with support from USAID’s Higher Education Support Network (HESN) and the Government of Canada, conducted a secondary analysis of the VACS data to estimate the prevalence of school-related gender-based violence. This analysis allowed researchers to better understand the complexities and nuances of violence in schools, creating a framework for governments, organizations, and other actors to better prevent and address violence.
“Having access to the VACS datasets has allowed me to explore factors associated with acceptance or justification of violence against women perpetrated by men among children and youth. This will help inform primary violence prevention interventions in low-resource settings by fostering attitudes of gender equality and respect,” says Laura Liévano-Karim, Fulbright fellow and Ph.D. student in the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs in the Department of Social Welfare.
Conducting the VACS around the world is a critical step toward ending violence against children. When governments use the data to inform national action plans and researchers conduct further analyses of the data to better understand the issue, it strengthens the collective global response to violence.
To view a list of peer-reviewed journal articles using VACS data, visit the Together for Girls resource bank.
About Together for Girls
Together for Girls is a global partnership working to end violence against children and adolescents, particularly sexual violence against girls. The partnership brings together more than 20 national governments, civil society organizations, UN entities, development partners, and the private sector to improve violence prevention, healing and justice. Together for Girls uses an innovative model of data, advocacy and action to drive lasting change and create a safer world for all.