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Gender-Based Violence

A close-up image of a woman's hands in shadow.

CARE believes every person has the right to a life free from violence. We put gender equality and the safety and dignity of women and girls at the center of what we do. Gender-based violence (GBV) is a global problem of epidemic proportions that demands committed action and sustained resources.

For over two decades, CARE has been addressing the root causes driving gender-based violence (GBV) and supporting survivors. CARE’s Vision 2030 Strategy for a shared future puts forward a goal that 50 million people of all genders experience greater gender equality—including eliminating GBV, and increasing women and girls’ voice, leadership, and education. CARE works to address multiple forms of GBV, including:

  • Intimate partner violence
  • Sexual violence, harassment, exploitation, and abuse
  • Child, early, and forced marriage, and other harmful traditional practices
  • Gender norms, toxic masculinities, homophobia, and transphobia
  • Economic exploitation and exclusion of women and girls

Rates of gender-based violence around the world rose dramatically in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Fueled by the food crisis, this issue continues to worsen as a result of the compounding challenges of climate change, conflict, resource scarcity, and increased commodity costs.

Highlighted Programs Fighting Gender-Based Violence

Tipping Point

The Tipping Point initiative identifies the root causes of child, early, and forced marriage and facilitates innovative strategies to create alternative paths for adolescent girls.

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Safe Cities

To prevent and respond to sexual harassment and other forms of sexual violence against women in public spaces.

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The Indashyikirwa project worked with couples to reduce intimate partner violence and improve the wellbeing of survivors in selected communities in seven districts of Rwanda. It also aimed to strengthen the evidence base for community prevention and response for GBV.

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Empowering Men to Engage and Redefine Gender Equality (EMERGE)

To shift social norms and support men and boys as allies for gender equality, so as to advance respect for women and reject violence in their families and the broader community.

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Key approaches

CARE takes a holistic approach to addressing GBV.


We work with women, men, adolescents and youth, girls, boys, communities, and local organizations to transform harmful gender norms and attitudes that perpetuate GBV, and promote healthy, equitable and non-violent relationships.

Risk mitigation

CARE ensures that our projects take steps to reduce the risk of GBV and address disclosures of GBV appropriately. This means being deliberate about reducing risks, raising awareness, and linking survivors to services—no matter what the program, whether it’s food security, water, education, or health. CARE aims to ensure that women, girls and marginalized groups are safe, respected and valued.


CARE provides services to GBV survivors directly and through partners: first-line support (empathetic counseling, safety planning, and referrals), health care (clinical management of rape and sexual and reproductive health and rights), legal support, psycho-social support, economic opportunities, and referral system strengthening.


We work to develop and strengthen the passage and implementation of policies, laws, and systems that prevent GBV and uphold survivors’ rights.

Integrating GBV across ALL our programs

As well as programs focused entirely on GBV through explicit risk mitigation, prevention, response or advocacy interventions, CARE aims to integrate attention to GBV across all of our projects.

Gender-Based Violence Guidance for Development Programming

A New Report | Release Date

CARE's Gender-Based Violence Guidance for Development Programs is a practical tool for implementing high-quality GBV interventions. It covers CARE’s GBV approaches, key principles to ensure best practice, and 10 practical steps for designing, implementing and evaluating safe and ethical GBV programming.

Read the guidance