Summary of publication
This is a very detailed population-based study that benchmarks the prevalence and incidence of violence against women, and attitudes to violence in Vanuatu, including:
- health and other effects of violence on women and children;
- risk and protective factors in the family and community;
- coping strategies of women; and
- what this means for prevention and support services.
The study reveals a different side to Vanuatu's happy image and says that violence against women cannot be prevented unless patterns of unequal power, including controlling behaviours by husbands and intimate partners, are transformed. The study shows wide-ranging and severe impacts of violence on women's physical, mental and reproductive health. It shows impacts on children's emotional wellbeing and schooling. It links these to enormous economic costs to families, communities and the nation and to lost opportunities for social and economic development. The study finds that respect and trust for chiefs and church leaders helps to promote social cohesion, and that there is some support for women's rights and non-violent solutions to family problems.
It concludes, however, that attitudes about women's rights and gender equality need widespread change to reduce the high rates of all forms of violence against women in Vanuatu.
Vanuatu National Survey on Women's Lives and Relationships, May 2011 [PDF 5 MB]