Violence against women and girls is a grave violation of human rights. It also has tremendous costs for individuals and societies, especially in the Pacific, from greater health care expenses to losses in productivity to a pervasive sense of fear and insecurity.
Decades of mobilising by women’s movements have put ending gender-based violence high on national and international agendas. An unprecedented number of countries have laws against domestic violence, sexual assault and other forms of violence.
Challenges remain in implementing these laws, however, so that women and girls can seek safety and justice. Not enough is done to prevent violence, and when it does occur, it often goes unpunished.