Gender-based Violence research a lifeline for women

5 December 2022

Series of SPC stories for 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) 2022, demonstrating how science and technical support contributes to ending GBV.  

Research can prove the extent of the harmful impacts caused by gender-based violence in the Pacific, and also be used to advocate for change in legislation and improved support services.  

“Gender-based violence research contributes to change in a number of ways,” said Kim Robertson, an Adviser with the Pacific Community (SPC) Human Rights and Social Development (HRSD) Division. 

“For many women, the research is the first time they have shared or disclosed their experience of violence, a major change to break the silence,” she explained.   

Kim specialises in gender data, statistics and research and has represented SPC in the Reference Group for Toksave Pacific Gender Resource, a unique regional portal for gender research and resources.   

“If you want to find out about gender-based violence in the Pacific, Toksave has over 230 resources related to GBV. This ranges includes tools and guides, briefs, blogs, reports, journal articles, prevalence studies and more about a range of topics including access to services, justice, assessments of specific areas such as Family Protection Orders, GBV and economic empowerment.” 

Having research that is robust and relevant assist governments, civil society and all organisations working to end violence against women and girls. For example, many Pacific civil society organisations (CSOs) rely on gender research as the evidence-based to prove GBV is a significant issue and to advocate for improved legal protection, support services and resources for survivors while also implementing programmes to eliminate violence against women and girls. 

Kim shared how gender-based violence (GBV) research is very complex, and any undertaking will involve the ‘do no harm’ approach to both participants of the research and researchers.  

“Collecting GBV data is hard for researchers and every care is taken so that they are not traumatised by the information and stories shared with them. “ 

SPC is committed to improving gender equality, women’s empowerment and ending violence against women and girls. Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is both a cause and a consequence of gender inequality – programmes that work to improve gender equality and women’s empowerment contribute to ending gender-based violence.  

This story is part of a series being published by SPC during this year’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence (GBV) to demonstrate how science and technical approaches directly contribute to gender equality and ending violence against women and girls (VAWG). Refer to this year’s SPC 16 Days web-page for more details:  

Human Rights and Social Development