What is violence against women and girls?

The United Nations defines Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) as:

"Any act of gender-based violence that is directed at a woman because she is a woman, or acts of violence which are suffered disproportionally by women, that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to a woman or girl, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life."

It refers to the following crime types:

  • domestic violence and abuse
  • sexual offences
  • stalking
  • female genital mutilation
  • crimes said to be committed in the name of 'honour'
  • forced marriage
  • prostitution
  • trafficking for sexual exploitation
  • exploitation of girls by gangs.

Support for violence against women and girls crimes

We have factsheets on all of the above:

Download support and information factsheets

Royal Greenwich violence against women and girls strategy

We have a specific strategy for violence against women and girls.

Download our violence against women and girls strategy

White Ribbon Day 2021

White Ribbon Day is marked around the world and is the largest global initiative to end violence against women by calling on men to take action to make a difference. This means thinking about their own behaviour, learning from women’s experiences and being prepared to call out sexism, misogyny and harassment when they see it.  

Learn more about White Ribbon Day.