When we ask the question “What are some of the workable solutions and case studies on how to prevent violence against children, at home, in the street and at school?” the first thing we should do is define what we mean by violence against children. Violence against children can be defined as the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against a person 0-17 years of age that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, mal-development, or deprivation. This definition encompasses many forms of violence including child maltreatment, bullying, youth or peer to peer violence, teen dating violence, sexual violence, war-related – essentially any form of interpersonal violence that impacts children. So as we think of workable solutions we need to bear in mind that violence against children encompasses a broad spectrum of related behaviors.
There are a number of great resources that tell us two important types of information about workable solutions. First, is information on the best available evidence for preventing violence derived from scientific studies of the impact of different interventions on the prevention of violence. Second, is information on how to best implement those interventions that have an evidence base. Both types of information are important in order for the solution to be workable.
In the U.S. you can go to the following website and find 5 different packages of the best available evidence for preventing different forms of violence: child abuse and neglect, sexual violence, intimate partner violence, and youth violence). These packages are relevant to both children and adults, but within each you can find discussions of potential solutions relevant to children. In addition to this is a new website that provides guidance on how to implement the types of strategies and approaches reflected in these packages. And while this information has been developed for a US audience the information is relevant to thinking about solutions in other contexts.
In addition and tailored more directly for a global audience are a similar set of materials. First is INSPIRE which is a package of the best available evidence for preventing violence against children across the different types. This package was prepared and endorsed by the WHO, World Bank, UNICEF, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Together for Girls, and other international organizations and is being used by the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children to advance prevention efforts around the world. A companion to that piece that provides implementation guidance is also available here.