Costing the Impact of Intimate Partner Violence and the Resources Required to Address It
The Pacific region has some of the highest rates of violence against women and girls (VAWG) globally with 2 in 3 women experiencing physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime. It is well established that VAWG takes a significant toll on the well-being, health and safety of survivors of violence, their families and communities at large. Across the Pacific, intimate partner violence (IPV), also referred to as domestic violence (DV), is the most prevalent form of VAWG. Global commitments to ending all forms of VAWG, notably through Sustainable Development Goal targets 5.2 and 5.3, have supported increased advocacy to sufficiently resource national VAWG response efforts and to better understand the detrimental cost of violence on national economies.
Costing the economic impact of IPV and the implementation of critical elements of national policies and laws on IPV holds important implications for policy implementation and its budgeting. Evidence suggests that investments in preventing and responding to IPV have a significant cost saving potential, can generate economic and social benefits, and improve gender equality. Such costing research is also necessary information for lobbying and advocacy campaigns to assist in securing the funding and to planning the roll-out of commitments made. Such efforts are likely to have flow-on effects for country-led gender-responsive budgeting initiatives.
To contribute to gender-responsive budgeting efforts in the Pacific, a multi-country costing of IPV study in Solomon Islands and the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) was undertaken in partnership with national and regional stakeholders2 to cost:
- the impact of IPV on the economy; and
- the resources required to fully implement national measures, such as laws, policy frameworks, services and programmes, to address IPV.
The studies focused attention on IPV as the most prevalent form of VAWG in the region. Furthermore, the multi-country costing study aligned with regional and national gender-responsive budgeting efforts to provide evidence that supports policy and advocacy efforts to target budget investments and add the economic argument to VAWG prevention and response efforts.
The multi-country costing study on VAWG in the Pacific was commissioned by UN Women through the Spotlight Initiative Pacific Regional Programme. The Spotlight Initiative is a global, multi-year programme between the European Union and the United Nations aimed at eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls. Abt Associates conducted the research with a robust regional and national team.