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

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 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.

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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

Key Highlights from Lesotho’s VACS

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).

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