Press releases and statements

The Government of Lesotho launches Violence Against Children and Youth Survey (VACS) Report

30th September 2020

On September 23, 2020, the Government of Lesotho launched their Violence Against Children and Youth Survey (VACS) report with support from PEPFAR, CDC, UNICEF, and other partners. The launch was broadcast live by the Lesotho National Broadcasting Service and included remarks from Dr. Felix Ndagije, Country Director of Lesotho for ICAP; Anurita Bains, UNICEF Representative to Lesotho; Amanda Grier, Acting Deputy Chief of Mission for the US Embassy in Lesotho; and ‘Matebatso Doti, Minister of Social Development for Lesotho.

The VACS report reveals key findings from the VACS, which Lesotho conducted in 2018. The Violence Against Children and Youth Surveys (VACS), led by CDC as part of the Together for Girls partnership, measure multiple forms of violence against children and adolescents: sexual, physical, and emotional, and they provide important data on risk factors, protective factors, and consequences of violence.

Data from the Lesotho VACS shows that girls and boys experience unacceptably high rates of sexual and physical violence. Key findings include:

  • 15% of girls and 5% of boys experienced sexual violence prior to age 18
  • 33% of girls and 57% of boys experienced physical violence prior to age 18
  • For 18% of girls, their first experience of sexual intercourse was physically forced or coerced
  • For 58% of females who experienced sexual violence prior to age 18, the first incident of sexual violence was perpetrated by an intimate partner
  • Among girls who experienced sexual violence prior to age 18, only 9% received services

To learn more about the results of the Lesotho survey, you can view the report or the fact sheet with key data highlights. You can also click here to watch the recording of the launch event (note: the event is only partially in English).

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.