GVHC projects on Extent, causes and consequences of VAW

GVHC has been instrumental in bringing the problem of VAW to global attention, from its role in early high profile studies such as the WHO Multi-country study on Women’s Health and Domestic Violence, through to the Global Burden Study to document the global prevalence of IPV.  By documenting the extent of VAW, and the physical, mental, social and economic consequences that it has for women, their families, communities and society as a whole, we increase the imperative of the global community to act – both to prevent violence and to respond more effectively to those affected.

Key to preventing violence is an understanding of what causes it. The Ecological Framework developed by Lori Heise, member and former-Director of GVHC, is now widely used by violence researchers, activists and policy makers around the world to acknowledge the different levels at which risk factors for IPV operate – individual woman, individual man, relationship, community and society. While our research focuses on all of these levels and the interactions between them, a strong focus of much of our current work is on community and societal (or ‘structural’) level factors that drive IPV risk. These include gender norms and women’s lack of access to education and economic opportunities.

Links between VAW and HIV are also a major focus of the Centre. IPV can be both a cause and consequence of HIV infection, and the two often share common underlying risk factors (such as notions of manhood that condone both men’s power over women and men engaging in risky sexual behaviours).

Our projects use diverse methods, from large-scale multi-country population based surveys allowing us to make comparisons between settings, through to longitudinal studies that allow us to look at trajectories of risk over time and better disentangle causes versus consequences of IPV.

Browse GVHC projects on Extent, causes and consequences of violence against women:

Project title Description Main contact person Status
Investigating the predictors of intimate partner violence: A mixed method longitudinal study in Tanzania longitudinal study of 1200 women in Mwanza, Tanzania over four time points to establish the temporal changes in IPV and to explore risk and protective factors


Heidi Stoeckl Ongoing
GCRF Economic empowerment and intimate partner violence in Sub-Saharan Africa Secondary data analysis on economic empowerment and IPV


Heidi Stoeckl Ongoing
Indashyikirwa Evaluation


An impact evaluation of a community IPV prevention programme implemented from August 2014-August 2018 in rural Rwanda as part of the Global What Works to Prevent Violence against Women and Girls Programme


Erin Stern Ongoing
MAISHA: Preventing violence against women in Tanzania Mixed methods study with the overal aims of: 1) evaluating a social empowerment intervention to prevent intimate partner violence against women; and 2) gaining further insights into the different forms of violence against women, the drivers of violence against women, and the consequences of violence against women.


Sheila Harvey Ongoing
Improving measures of the gender dimensions of young women’s risk of HIV through transactional sex in Uganda Nambusi Kyegombe Ongoing
Understanding and measuring violence by and against men in Tanzania


Heidi Stoeckl Ongoing
LSHMT Learning Initiative on Social Norms and Gender-related harmful practices


Community of practice of practitioners, donors, and scholars investigating the role of social norms in influencing various gender-related harmful practices in low and mid-income countries


Ben Cislaghi Ongoing
Learning Initative on Norms Exploitation and Abuse (LINEA) LINEA is an international, multi-pronged project testing how social norm theory can be used to reduce the sexual exploitation of children and adolescents (SECA) in regions across the world. Ana Maria Buller Ongoing


Research consortium investigating the social norms and inequalities that drive HIV structural drivers for HIV


Mitzy Gafos Ongoing
Global Burden of Disease Study


Estimating the prevalence of intimate partner violence for measuring the SDG Target 5.2. – based on the previous Global Burden of Disease study (systematic review/secondary data analysis)


Karen Devries Completed
Intimate partner homicide Systematic review of the global prevalence of intimate partner homicide – part of the Global Burden of Disease exercise Heidi Stoeckl Completed
WHO multi-country study on women’s health and domestic violence The WHO Multi-country Study on Women’s Health and Domestic Violence against Women was a groundbreaking effort to document the prevalence of intimate partner violence and other forms of violence against women using population-based sampling. It was initially carried out in 15 sites in 10 countries.


The study was implemented by WHO, in collaboration with LSHTM, PATH and research institutions and women’s organisations in the participating countries.

Charlotte Watts Completed
Multivariate analysis of the relation between MDG 3, 4, 5 and 6 Secondary data analysis of associations between HIV and indicators of women’s empowerment Charlotte Watts Completed
Measuring Sustainable Development Goal 5.2. Creating a WHO database for measuring progress for SDG 5.2. Heidi Stoeckl Completed
Empowering pregnant women in Tanzania to address the double burden of intimate partner violence and HIV: a mixed methods research study Secondary data analysis postdoctoral fellowship on IPV and HIV in Tanzania Heidi Stoeckl Completed
Understanding partner violence during pregnancy and identifying interventions for its prevention and reduction Secondary data analysis on IPV during pregnancy in Tanzania Heidi Stoeckl Completed
EMPOWER: Combination HIV prevention for adolescent girls and young women Demonstration study to evaluate an HIV prevention intervention for adolescent girls and young women that addresses gender-based violence and includes oral PrEP (South Africa and Tanzania) Sheila Harvey Completed
Formative research on exploitative aspects of transactional sex in Uganda and Tanzania


Qualitative research on exploitative aspects of transactional sex in Uganda and Tanzania Ana Maria Buller Completed
Mathematical modelling of the risk of sexual violence and HIV in conflict settings


Publications on sexual violence in conflict settings were reviewed and a mathematical model describing the probability of HIV acquisition was adapted to include the potential effect of genital injury and used to estimate the relative risk of HIV acquisition in ‘conflict’ versus ‘non-conflict’ situations. An analytical equation was developed to estimate the impact of SV on HIV incidence. Charlotte Watts Completed

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