On May 15, 2019, the Government of El Salvador launched the Violence Against Children and Youth Survey (VACS), the second VACS report published in Latin America. In El Salvador, the VACS process was led by the Ministry of Justice and Public Security with support from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), International Organization for Migration (IOM), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The El Salvador VACS report provides never-before seen data on the prevalence, nature and consequences of violence against Salvadoran children and youth, including insights on sexual violence and its relationship to children’s lifelong health outcomes. The El Salvador VACS report is the second of the forthcoming Latin American reports to study migration, after the Government of Honduras launched their survey report on May 8. To learn more about the results of the El Salvador survey, view the VACS report here.
During the high-level launch event in San Salvador, Raúl Antonio López, Vice Minister of Security of the Ministry of Justice and Security gave remarks on the importance of this study to inform policies and actions that will address violence against children in El Salvador.
“This information should alert the entire country to how physical and sexual violence affects children,” said López.
The report launch was attended by Marta Santos Pais, the United Nations’ Special Representative to the Secretary General on Violence Against Children (SRSG-VAC). In her remarks, SRSG Santos Pais recognized the VACS report as a key part in El Salvador’s ongoing work to address violence against children within the country.
“The United Nations recognizes this survey as an important tool that will help us break the silence and mobilize efforts to prevent & respond to violence against children,” she said.
Dr. Daniela Ligiero, CEO and executive director of Together for Girls and chair of the Executive Committee of the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children (GPEVAC), congratulated the Government of El Salvador on the VACS report launch and recognized their commitment to collaborate across sectors to end of all forms violence against children. Dr. Ligiero also discussed the importance of the INSPIRE framework, which provides seven strategies for national governments to transform VACS data into action as a way forward.
“The main lesson when it comes to eliminating violence is that there is not an actor or sector that can work this alone,” she said. “We have to work together.”
During the event, representatives from IOM and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shared remarks and key highlights on the various forms of violence against children and their consequences from the VACS report.
Key findings from the El Salvador VACS Report include:
Among 18-24 year olds:
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.