In 2009 the Vanuatu Women’s Centre (VWC) undertook a national baseline study of the prevalence of violence against women aged 15 to 49, in partnership with the Vanuatu National Statistics Office. One of the most important findings from the 2009 national prevalence study was that almost every form of violence is more prevalent among young women, than those aged 30 years and over.
For the research findings detailed in this report, young women were defined as those aged 18 to 29, and girls were defined as under 18 years. The current research posed several questions to explore the experiences of young women and girls. What proportion of clients seeking help from VWC and its rural network of branches are young women and girls? What types of issues are they seeking help with, what types of violence are they facing, and how severe is the violence they are experiencing? The findings provide a confronting insight into the lives of many young women and girls in Vanuatu.
This research also explores how young women and girls come to know about VWC’s services, and what prevents them from seeking help. The findings add to existing evidence on the effectiveness of VWC’s integrated approach to preventing and responding to the serious problem of violence against women and girls.