On Monday 15th December 2014, Dr Lyndsay McLean Hilker of Social Development Direct – part of the What Works to Prevent VAWG Global Programme consortium, presented at the second event in the DFID ‘What Works’ learning series. Her presentation “Preventing VAWG through Response Mechanisms: evidence on what works”, summarised the key findings of a rapid evidence review paper co-authored with What Works Director Rachel Jewkes.

In the presentation Dr McLean Hilker suggested a number of key implications for the prevention agenda and DFID’s programming:

  1. Only a small proportion of women and girls who experience violence report it and seek support from response services. Therefore, at a population level, interventions through response mechanisms are unlikely to ever result in prevention of many incidents of violence.
  2. Some studies document adverse consequences for women of some response interventions, especially those that are imposed (e.g. mandatory reporting and arrest). Thus, evaluations must examine adverse consequences.
  3. Some interventions are receiving substantial investment, but there is limited or no evidence of positive impact on prevention of VAWG (although they may be important for response) e.g. police training, paralegal programmes, women’s police stations, community policing.
  4. There are some interventions, which show promise but do not currently receive much funding e.g. shelters, therapeutic, counselling and psychosocial support, and protection orders.
  5. Further work is needed to optimise interventions rooted in response mechanisms to prevent violence, particularly on how to combine interventions.

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