School-Related Gender-Based Violence

Data + Solutions to Prevent Violence in Schools

Understanding School-Related Gender-Based Violence

Every child deserves to be safe in school. However, research shows that across the globe students experience unacceptably high rates of school-related physical, sexual and psychological violence.


This can include teacher-perpetrated abuse, such as corporal punishment or sexual coercion. It can also include peer-perpetrated abuse, like bullying or discrimination. While school environments can enable violence, they also have a critical role to play in violence prevention and response.


Schools can serve as protective spaces for children, acting as an important arena for broader social change to end violence both in and out of the classroom. Read on to learn more about the issue of school-related gender-based violence, and strategies to protect students.

Defining SRGBV

SRGBV violates children’s fundamental rights, is a form of gender discrimination, and has wide-ranging consequences for children’s physical and emotional well-being, school performance and attendance and likelihood of experiencing or perpetrating future violence.

School-Related Gender-Based Violence (SRGBV) is any act or threat of sexual, physical or psychological violence occurring in and around schools, perpetrated as a result of gender norms and stereotypes, and enforced by unequal power dynamics.

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Data to Inform Action: Understanding Violence In Schools

Through support from the Government of Canada and USAID’s Higher Education Support Network (HESN), the U.S.Centers for Disease Control and AidData conducted a secondary analysis of the Violence Against Children Surveys (VACS) data to identify the prevalence of SRGBV, as well as details on violence perpetration, victimization risk and post-violence behaviors in selected countries.


The goal of this project is 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.


The secondary analysis evaluated the national prevalence of SRGBV, and studied the different experiences of boys and girls related to violence, including school absenteeism, the prevalence of different forms of violence, disclosure, and seeking and access to services.


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Although many students around the world experience school-related gender-based violence, it doesn’t have to be this way. There are proven, evidence-based solutions to prevent violence against children in and around school settings. Together for Girls and partners will continue to develop resources to guide policy-makers, practitioners, and advocates toward data analysis (using the VACS and other data sources) to inform policy and programmatic interventions and existing evidence-based solutions. For more education-focused solutions to prevent sexual violence against children visit

Raising Voices Program

One example of a local initiative in action is the Raising VoicesGood School Toolkit” program in Uganda, a powerful intervention at limiting teacher-perpetrated violence in schools.

Dating Matters

In the United States, the CDC “Dating Matters” program aimed at middle school children is a school-based curriculum with proven success in decreasing dating violence and helping youth develop healthy relationships.

Global Guidance

UNESCO, UN Women, and other partners developed “Global guidance on addressing school-related gender-based violence” to provide information to governments, policy-makers, teachers, practitioners, and civil society who wish to take concrete.

Learn more

Stay tuned for more resources, materials, and research on preventing SRGBV. In the meantime, visit these collaborating organization pages for information on how to prevent and respond to SRGBV.


Global Working Group to End SRGBV

Safe to Learn



Global Partnership for Education 

UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence Against Children

USAID Higher Education Solutions Network


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