Thematic Brief: Ending Violence against Women in the Pacific

Date modified: 20 February 2023 Version 2

This Thematic Brief provides a broad summary of information and analysis about violence against women and girls in the Pacific Islands region. The summary includes references to associated research and information. This is one in a series of Thematic Briefs released by the Pacific Women Lead (PWL) at the Pacific Community (SPC) programme, termed PWL at SPC. The briefs have been updated to include COVID-19 considerations and recent programme information, based on the original briefs developed by the former programme, Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development (Pacific Women).

Following are the seven key messages about violence against women and girls in the Pacific.

  1. Women in the Pacific face some of the highest levels of violence in the world. An estimated 60 per cent of women and girls have experienced violence by an intimate partner or family member.
  2. Women and girls are at increased risk of men’s physical and sexual violence during a crisis, such as natural disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic.
  3. Violence takes many forms and women often experience multiple types of violence.
  4. Violence affects women first and foremost but also their children, families and communities.
  5. Physical and sexual violence limits women’s economic empowerment and has high economic costs for societies, including lost wages and productivity, health care and the criminal justice costs of apprehending, prosecuting and imprisoning perpetrators.
  6. The Pacific is developing a stronger legislative framework to protect women, but action is needed to implement these laws.
  7. Violence against women is reinforced by community acceptance and impunity for perpetrators.

Data and Resources

Issued 2021-11-01
Modified 2023-02-20
Version 2
DCAT Type Text
Publisher Name SPC Pacific Women Lead