(December 2012) To commemorate 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, PAHO, USAID, George Washington University’s Global Women’s Institute, Johns Hopkins University, and the Gender-Based Violence Task Force of the Interagency Gender Working Group, hosted an event focused on the critical examination of the intersections between violence against women and violence against children entitled “Breaking the Cycle: Understanding the Intersections of Violence Against Women and Violence Against Children.”

The event featured opening remarks by Dr. Mirta Roses Periago, director of PAHO and Dr. Neil Boothby, U.S. Government special advisor and senior coordinator to the USAID Administrator on Children in Adversity. Then, the esteemed panel featured presentations that covered the spectrum of violence against women and children. The audience was taken through an overview of the issue, then presented with findings from a new study on Latin America showing that exposure to violence in childhood—either as a victim of physical or sexual abuse or as a witness to violence against women—increases the risk of experiencing violence later in life. This was followed by examples of how data can be used for national action plans with examples from Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Tanzania, and Kenya. The panel presentations ended on a pensive note, discussing what lessons could be learned and what could be used to prevent violence against women and children in the future.