How is economic security linked to gender-based violence? New insights from the Sexual Violence Research Initiative Forum 2019

The relationship between economic insecurity and gender-based violence is complex and poorly understood—here, we round up evidence from the recent biannual Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI) Forum in Cape Town Oct. 21-25 to highlight what is new and where we go next.

Violence experts have long acknowledged the link between economic insecurity and gender-based violence (GBV). Although GBV cuts across geography and socioeconomic status, the poor face disproportionately high risks. Globally, economically insecure individuals tend to live in locations with more conflict, fewer support services, and weaker legal systems. At the same time, economic insecurity or chronic poverty makes individuals and households themselves more likely to experience acute stress and resort to risky coping strategies that increase the risk of GBV. Acknowledging this relationship, the World Health Organization-led RESPECT framework for preventing violence against women, launched in May, includes “P for Poverty Reduced” as one of its seven strategies.

Photo Credit: SVRI