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Building A Safer Community


Everyone has the right to live in a safe environment, free from violence, abuse and neglect. Sadly, homes can be one of the most dangerous places for violence abuse and neglect. Sadly, homes can be dangerous places for violence towards girls and women. When violence occurs, it is often inflicted by someone in a position of trust, such as a husband, intimate partner, father or other relative.

Abusers are typically repeat offenders, protected by the culture of silence that often surrounds domestic violence. This stance has contributed to a lack of appropriate programs and policies to help victims seek help. It also hinders support to help perpetrators change abusive behaviors and develop respectful relationships. Although many consider domestic problems private, it is important to note that both men and women are increasingly helping themselves and others by speaking out against family violence.

The United Nations Declaration on Violence against Women provides a basis for defining gender-based violence. According to Article One of the declaration violence against women is "Any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life".

The United Nations has defined violence against women as gender-based violence to acknowledge that such violence is rooted in gender inequality and is often tolerated and condoned by laws institutions and community norms.

Violence against women is not only a profound violation of human rights but also a costly impediment to a country's national development. Visit to access: preventing and responding to gender based violence in middle and low-income countries: a global analysis (Policy, research working paper, no.WPS 36r8)

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