The World Health Organization estimates that nearly 30 percent of girls ages 15-19 and almost 32 percent of young women ages 20-24 have experienced violence at the hands of an intimate partner. in some countries, nearly half of all women and girls in this age group have experienced sexual or intimate partner violence. Exposure to violence as an adolescent can put many young people on a lifelong trajectory of violence.
A review of 61 interventions aimed at preventing intimate partner violence and sexual violence among adolescents revealed three promising strategies: school-based programs that educate adolescents about healthy relationships, community-based interventions that promote gender equality and reduce tolerance for gender-based violence, and parenting interventions that help build safe homes and reduce risk factors that lead to perpetration of violence. Evidence also suggests that programs with longer-term investments and repeated exposure to ideas delivered in different settings have better results than single awareness-raising interventions.
This fact sheet provides an overview of the research findings presented in a Journal of Adolescent Health supplement on adolescent sexual and reproductive health. It also identifies relevant UN agreements and key resources for developing effective programs.
The research and review articles were developed as part of an expert group meeting convened by the World Health Organization, United Nations Family Planning Fund, and the International Women’s Health Coalition.