The experience of sexual or physical violence during adolescence can dramatically change the direction of an adolescent girl's life. It raises the likelihood of poor mental health, suicide, unwanted pregnancy, substance abuse, gynecological complications, HIV infection and other sexually transmitted infections.
The objective of this paper - a review of the evidence on multi-sectoral interventions to reduce violence against adolescent girls - is to provide an overview of programming aimed at girls in developing countries and to assess their effectiveness. It covers partner violence - physical and sexual abuse by male partners - as well as other forms of gender violence that are particularly relevant for adolescent girls, such as school-based violence and harassment.
It is one of a series of five Issue Papers commissioned by the Department for International Development UK (DFID) and Girl Hub which synthesise key evidence on integrated approaches to economic assets, health, education, social norms and preventing violence in improving the lives of adolescent girls.
There is also a mapping document which contains a matrix of the programmes analysed in this report.
"Across the 27 countries for which Demographic and Health Survey data on violence are available, the proportion of ever-married adolescent women who have been forced to have sexual intercourse or perform other sexual acts ranges from less than two percent in Cambodia and Moldova to more than 30 percent in Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti and Uganda. Other forms of physical violence, such as being slapped, punched, or kicked, have been experienced by higher proportions of ever-married adolescent women, with levels as high as 40 percent or higher in Bangladesh, DR Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda. Among never married women, it is not surprising that levels of partner violence are generally much lower although there are a few countries in sub-Saharan Africa where more than 10 per cent of never married adolescents report having experienced forced sex."
Ann K. Blanc, Andrea Melnikas, Michelle Chau, Marie Stoner for DFID & Girl Hub