WHO releases new tools and guidelines on violence and abuse

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has released two new tools addressing global violence prevention and child sexual abuse.

Global violence information

WHO has released an interactive website on violence prevention, Violence Info. It provides global and country specific information about child maltreatment, youth violence, intimate partner violence, elder abuse, sexual violence and homicide. For each topic it provides easy to understand infographics and links to research studies on prevalence, consequences, risk factors and prevention and response strategies. It also includes example response programmes and overviews of measurement tools. Under the studies section, it provides visual displays and links to research studies (including on violence against women).

There are country-specific profiles on laws, policies, strategies, programmes and services to prevent and respond to violence. See the New Zealand profile.

Clinical guidelines on childhood sexual abuse

WHO has also published new clinical guidelines for healthcare providers on Responding to children and adolescents who have been sexually abused. The guidelines are focused primarily on frontline healthcare providers such as general practitioners, nurses, paediatricians and gynaecologists who provide care to children and adolescents. They are designed with low- and middle- income countries in mind, so recommendations can be applied with limited healthcare resources. The document also identifies areas where there are gaps in knowledge and need for research including prevalence, longer-term impacts, understanding a range of service needs (based on race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or socioeconomic status) and more. For more information see the WHO media release and the WHO webpage on sexual and reproductive health

Aotearoa New Zealand

In 2016, New Zealand's Ministry of Health released updated guidelines for health workers on responding to child abuse and intimate partner violence.

In August 2017, a new Sexual Assault Assessment and Treatment Service (SAATS) online network was launched by MEDSAC (previously DSAC) to provide guidance and support for clinicians.

Related news

Know Violence in Childhood: Global Learning Initiative has published the Ending Violence in Childhood: Global Report 2017. The report presents the latest global evidence on risk factors and consequences of violence in childhood and examines prevention strategies.

The Coalition of Feminists for Social Change (COFEM) launched the Feminist Perspectives on Addressing Violence against Women and Girls paper series (2017). The five paper series discusses the lack of socio-political analysis of gender inequality in global work on violence against women and girls.