Gender-Based Violence and Violence Against Women - CARE

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 will accomplish this in part by addressing 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

GBV has devastating outcomes, including but not limited to: homicide, suicide, lifelong disability, mental illness, substance abuse, sexual and reproductive consequences, poverty, social exclusion, and impacts on children. It is used to prevent people, particularly young women, from making choices about their bodies, health, education, work, and lives.

The COVID-19 crisis has worsened GBV across the world. Lockdowns and stay-at-home measures are increasing conflict due to the loss of employment and income, food insecurity, and illness; keeping women at home with abusers and keeping girls out of school; disrupting access to police, healthcare and shelter; breaking down family and community support structures; and increasing child marriage and trafficking.

of murders of women in the world are committed by their intimate partners.

CARE 2021

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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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.