The Government of Honduras Launches first Violence Against Children and Youth Survey (VACS) Report in Latin America

On May 8, 2019, the Government of the Republic of Honduras launched the Violence Against Children and Youth Survey (VACS), the first report of its kind in Latin America. The Honduras VACS report includes groundbreaking information on the intersections of violence against children and migration. At the high-level launch event in Tegucigalpa, the First Lady of Honduras, Ana García de Hernández, formally renewed the government’s commitment to use the data from the VACS to inform policies and actions that will address violence against children in Honduras.

 

Representatives from key government ministries and partner organizations which supported the VACS at the Report Launch event in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. From left: Jorge Peraza, IOM; Alejandra Hernández, Sub-Secretary of Security in Prevention, Government of Honduras; Mark Connolly, UNICEF; Daniela Ligiero, Together for Girls; First Lady Ana García de Hernández, Government of Honduras; Sabine Rakotomalala, Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children; Andres Villaveces, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Ugo Ramos, International Organization on Migration; Nery Cerrato, Sub-Secretary of Governance and Decentralization (Photo Credit: Office of the First Lady of Honduras)

A Groundbreaking Report

The Honduras VACS was led by the Government of Honduras’ Sub-Secretary of Security in Prevention with support from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), International Organization for Migration (IOM), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Honduran government taskforce, Gabinete de Prevención.

 

The Honduras survey provides never-before seen data on the prevalence, nature and consequences of violence against Honduran children and youth, including insights on sexual violence and its relationship to children’s lifelong health outcomes.

While data on the overall prevalence of violence is key to progress in Latin America, little data has been available on the issue of violence against children and its intersection with migration–until now. The Honduras VACS is the first of the forthcoming Latin American reports to study migration. To learn more about the results of the survey, view the IOM’s fact sheet highlighting the migration data here.

Honduras VACS Reports disseminated during the launch (Photo Credit: Office of the First Lady of Honduras)

From Data to Action

The high-level report launch event was hosted by Ana García de Hernández, the First Lady of Honduras. In her remarks, she recognized the VACS report as a key part in Honduras’ ongoing work to addressing violence against children within the country.

 

“We have to break the cycle of violence and we have to do it through education”, says First Lady Hernández. Learn more about Honduras’ ongoing commitment to ending violence against children here and here.

First Lady Hernández addresses event attendees at the VACS Report launch on behalf of the President of Honduras.”It’s not about numbers. It’s about lives. And now it’s about action,” she said.  (Photo Credit: Office of the First Lady of Honduras)

During the launch, on behalf of the President of Honduras the First Lady announced that Honduras will be joining the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children (GPEVAC), as a Pathfinding Country. In joining the partnership, Honduras will continue to develop its National Action Plan to end all forms of violence against children.

First lady Ana García de Hernández presents the VACS Report at the official launch event aside government and partner representatives.  (Photo Credit: Office of the First Lady of Honduras)

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, congratulated the Government of Honduras on this monumental achievement and noted that the VACS is a first step to drive country-led, multi-sectoral action to strengthen prevention and response programming as a means to end of all forms violence against children in Honduras.

“It’s a great honor to be here and to see the commitment from the highest level of government.” says TfG CEO Dr. Daniela Ligiero, “Now is the time to transform the VACS data into action. To invest resources, time and capacity. You have everything you need right here.” (Photo Credit: GPEVAC)

Representatives from IOM Honduras also shared key highlights on various forms of violence against children and its consequences from the VACS report.

Ugo Ramos of IOM Honduras sharing key data findings from the Honduras VACS report during the launch.

Key findings from Honduras’ VACS Report include:

  • Consistent with the statistical data at the global level, girls in Honduras are more likely than boys to experience sexual violence.
  • Nearly 40% of males and females report experiencing some form of violence in childhood (sexual, physical, emotional)–female respondents were more likely to report experiencing sexual violence in childhood than males.
  • Girls and boys who are separated from their parents experience higher levels of violence. Nearly half of girls and boys reporting parents that migrated also report experiencing some type of violence, compared to 35% of girls and 28% of boys who report violence and whose parents have not migrated.
  • For both girls and boys, the perpetrators of sexual violence are often someone who is known by the victim. For nearly half of girls surveyed who experienced sexual violence (46%), their perpetrator was a family member. For boys, their perpetrator is most often a friend (61%), The most common location where sexual violence takes place is in the home–either the home of the victim or that of the perpetrator.
  • Nearly 16% of girls age 13-24 who experienced physically forced, coerced or alcohol facilitated intercourse became pregnant as a result.  Learn more about how TfG partners are addressing sexual violence and reducing teen pregnancy in Honduras here.
  • Less than 1 in 10 females and males who experienced sexual violence in childhood sought or received follow up care and services after the incident. Learn more about the importance of post-rape care here.

For more information regarding the Honduras’ VACS, check out the full VACS report, country fact sheet in English and Spanish visit Honduras’ country page on the Together for Girls website.