Violence against women and girls is one of the most prevalent human rights violations in the world. It knows no social, economic or national boundaries. Worldwide, an estimated one in three women will experience physical or sexual abuse in her lifetime.

smiling, woman, african american woman

Gender-based violence (GBV) is a violation of human rights. We’re working to transform attitudes towards girls and women that perpetuate violence against them. 

WINN supported health programmes provide information about women’s and girls’ rights, including their right to live free of abuse. These programmes also provide essential medical supplies, such as rape kits, to assist survivors, and support psychosocial and legal counselling. In Rwanda, for example, WINN is working with other agencies in “one-stop centres” to address the diverse physical, emotional and social needs of survivors. 

Gender-based violence undermines the health, dignity, security and autonomy of its victims, yet it remains shrouded in a culture of silence. Victims of violence can suffer sexual and reproductive health consequences, including forced and unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions, traumatic fistula, sexually transmitted infections including HIV, and even death.

Girls must never be held responsible for the violence that happens to them. Violence is the sole responsibility of the perpetrator, who must be held accountable according to national or international legislation. Fear or threat of violence must not restrict girls from living free and full lives, or from realising their full potential.