as coordination efforts at the national level. It pays particular attention to efforts at addressing the needs of minority populations (in this case, the Māori populations) who are at greater risk for violence but often have lower access to resources or recourse.

THE INTERCAMBIOS ALLIANCE

Margarita Quintanilla, M.D., M.P.H.
PATH Nicaragua

The InterCambios Alliance was created in 2003 with the aim of addressing existing gaps and facilitating greater collaboration and institutional coordination in the area of gender-based violence (GBV) in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Background

Despite compelling evidence that GBV is a serious health risk for women and a public health issue, research indicates that, although battered women use health services more than non-abused women, only a very small percentage of battered women are identified by health workers. Moreover, there is a lack of local services to which providers can refer women (Morrison et al., 2004). At a community level, there is often poor coordination between health providers and other important actors, such as community-based women’s groups, criminal justice authorities, and local NGOs. Although there is increasing international recognition of the serious impact of GBV, investment in the field is still woefully inadequate. There is also a dearth of rigorous evaluations of promising interventions to inform policy and programs. Recent reviews of programs working in this field note the need for greater coherence among evidence, policy, and programs as well as for coordinated, community-based approaches to address violence from a public health perspective.

Worldwide evidence on the nature, prevalence, and consequences of gender-based violence is clear and convincing—but this is not enough. Although international attention has galvanized significant advocacy and action (usually by women’s groups), such efforts have focused primarily on the areas of law and services and have not been sufficient to end violence perpetrated against women globally. Areas that need to be prioritized include developing local research capacity, particularly in resource-poor regions; improving monitoring and evaluation of GBV interventions to strengthen understanding of what works and what does not, especially in the area of prevention; supporting capacity building for entities engaged in addressing violence against women, including community-based



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