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Role of national partners in a coordinated response

Last edited: February 21, 2019

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Relevant sectors at the national level respond to violence against women through a coordinated response as follows:

National level partners/sectors

Role in a coordinated response to violence against women

Social services

  • Introduce mandatory national pre-qualifying and in-service training on violence against women, including the ways it intersects with other social problems, such as poverty, homelessness, HIV/AIDS and substance misuse
  • Develop national protocols for responding to women and girls at risk of/experiencing violence against women
  • Develop safe and confidential inter-agency referral mechanisms and protocols
  • Develop protocols for routine enquiry
  • Ensure protocols do not hold women responsible for protection of children from abuse by others when the women are being abused
  • Establish protocols and programmes that enable women to develop financial independence
  • Provide specific services for girls who have been sexually abused
  • Disaggregate documented cases of violence against women from regional/decentralised levels to compile more comprehensive service-level statistics (e.g. identify types and locations of violence and the response of different responders)

Health

  • Introduce mandatory national pre-qualifying and in-service training for health care professionals on causes, dynamics and impacts of violence against women
  • Develop national protocols for screening/routine enquiry on violence against women
  • Develop national protocols for responding to immediate health needs of victims/survivors
  • Build forensic evidence expertise and national protocols for performing forensic medical examinations, especially with respect to sexual violence
  • Audit and develop forensic evidence services
  • Disaggregate documented cases of violence against women from regional/decentralised levels to compile more comprehensive service-level statistics
  • Develop safe and confidential inter-agency referral mechanisms
  • Establish internal confidential data systems to monitor identification and responses
  • Document and disseminate lessons learned and promising practices

For detailed guidance, see the Health sector module on this site.

Justice

  • Introduce mandatory national pre-qualifying and in-service training on violence against women for prosecutors, judges, lawyers and other legal personnel
  • Promote the message that violence against women is a crime
  • Provide access to justice for women and girls who have experienced violence including civil protection orders
  • Make a clear commitment to holding perpetrators accountable including appropriate sentencing and supervision of convicted offenders
  • Develop protocols and processes that place safety, dignity and respect for victims/survivors at the heart of policy and practice
  • Reform laws that discriminate against women and girls and/or fail to address violence against women effectively
  • Conduct safe and confidential inter-agency referral mechanisms that ensure victims/survivors can access support services
  • Gather, publish and monitor statistics on reporting trends and case outcomes

For detailed guidance see the Legislation and Justice modules on this site.

Media

  • Introduce national pre-qualifying and in-service training on the realities of violence against women
  • Support ongoing training of media professionals on responding to and reporting violence against women
  • Develop codes of practice that show how to avoid perpetuating myths and stereotypes about violence against women
  • Develop codes of conduct that protect the anonymity of victims/survivors
  • Promote positive and empowering representations of women that challenge gender stereotypes and sexualisation of women and girls.

National/federal government

  • Enact legislation that addresses all forms of violence against women
  • Develop multi-sectoral national action plans to address violence against women covering prevention, protection and provision of services
  • Fund appropriate interventions for victims/survivors and perpetrators, including NGOs and integrated models of service provision
  • Facilitate and provide resources for coordination across sectors at national, sub-national and local government levels

Security Sector (Police and Military)

  • Develop national protocols for how the police should respond to all forms of violence against women, including an emphasis on women’s safety and dignity
  • Introduce mandatory training for all staff, including those in military service, on violence against women in peacetime and conflict
  • Include violence against women in all gender equality work and in protocols for development aid
  • Develop protocols that enable responses to cross-border violence against women (e.g., rape, forced/early marriage, FGM/C, trafficking)
  • Embed awareness of violence against women in international conflict management and peacekeeping planning and operations
  • Provide an effective first response to cases of violence against women among civilian populations by supplying information about local support options
  • Document cases of violence against women
  • Develop codes of conduct to prevent and sanction cases of violence against women by security services personnel covering both in-country and overseas postings
  • Develop and enforce zero-tolerance violence against women policies
  • Address sexual harassment and assault within the military
  • Ensure that military police/law has the same standards of accountability as civilian laws
  • Develop support services, or access via referral mechanisms, for women in the military and women partners of men who experience violence
  • Undertake research on the prevalence of violence against women within the armed forces