In 2015, all United Nations (UN) Members States agreed to work towards eliminating violence against women: Target 5.2. of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5. They also agreed to measure progress using two indicators, the first being the proportion of ever-partnered women and girls aged 15 years and older subjected to physical, sexual or psychological violence by a current or former intimate partner in the previous 12 months (SDG indicator 5.2.1). Knowledge about how to produce valid and reliable data on the prevalence of intimate partner violence and other types of violence against women has expanded in recent decades. Surveys that measure the prevalence and consequences of violence against women, including intimate partner violence, are specialized and need technical support and guidance to follow best practice. However, not all surveys follow best practice. This makes national and sub-national data on the prevalence of intimate partner violence difficult to compare across settings. Some surveys are subject to the risk of bias, including the risk of underestimating the prevalence.
Purpose of the checklist
This checklist is designed to help national statistics offices and other national research and data institutions and research teams to think through the steps needed to produce high-quality survey data on intimate partner violence — from the planning stages through to analysis, report write-up and dissemination of accurately interpreted findings. Most surveys on violence against women measure multiple types of violence, and many of the generic recommendations in this checklist are applicable to various forms of violence against women. However, this checklist addresses the specificities of measuring the prevalence of intimate partner violence — one of the most common forms of violence women are subjected to globally. A checklist to address the specificities of measuring the prevalence of non-partner sexual violence will be produced in the future. This checklist is meant to be used by teams planning dedicated surveys on violence against women as well as surveys with a module on violence against women within a larger survey, as in the Demographic and Health Surveys. Funders and other organizations commissioning surveys on violence against women may also find this checklist useful to inform their work.
This checklist was based on recommendations made by global experts on violence against women at meetings on strengthening the measurement of the prevalence of violence against women convened by the World Health Organization from 2016 to 2020, including members of the Technical Advisory Group of the United Nations Inter-Agency Working Group on Violence Against Women Estimation and Data and of the Working Group. Early drafts were revised based on reviews by many of these global experts. The development of the checklist was also informed by a review of the literature on methodology and international guidance on undertaking high-quality data collection, analyses and reporting on the prevalence of intimate partner violence [2- 4, 6-12], including resources listed in the References section. For more detailed information on how to plan, design and conduct violence against women research
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