The 2014 Oration was delivered by internationally renowned guest speaker, Professor Rachel Jewkes. Professor Jewkes is the Acting Vice-President for Research Support of the South African Medical Research Council and Director of its Gender and Health Research Unit.
She is an Honorary Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand School of Public Health, Secretary of the Sexual Violence Research Initiative and the Director of the ‘What works to prevent violence?’ global programme.
Professor Jewkes addressed the question ‘what works?’ in sexual violence prevention, and what can work in countries such as Papua New Guinea where the prevalence of use of violence is particularly high.
Topic: “What Works? Strategies for preventing sexual violence”
When: 5:30pm, Thursday 7th August 2014
Where: Melbourne Town Hall – Swanston Hall.
Cost: The Oration was a free public event.
Professor Rachel Jewkes is the Acting Vice-President for Research Support of the South African Medical Research Council and Director of its Gender and Health Research Unit. She is an Honorary Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand School of Public Health, Secretary of the Sexual Violence Research Initiative and the Director of the ‘What works to prevent violence?’ global programme.
She is a public health physician, who has spent 20 years undertaking research into gender-based violence and gender inequity and health mainly in South Africa. She was lead technical advisory to the UN multi-country study on men and violence in Asia and the Pacific and led the research in Papua New Guinea.
In South Africa, her work has mapped the prevalence and context of gender-based violence, particularly developing methods to study rape perpetration in the general population. Her work has helped to understand its health impact, especially in relation to HIV.
She has developed and evaluated interventions to prevent GBV with adolescents and in schools, and has undertaken research to better understand the health and justice sectors’ responses to rape. This work has included providing close assistance to the South Africa National Department of Health developing their post-rape care policy and guidelines, as well as a national curriculum for training health professionals in post-rape care.
She is presenting leading a global programme of research funded by the UK Government’s DFID which is seeking to fund the development and evaluation of interventions to prevent violence across DFIDs 28 priority countries, and particularly build capacity for theoretically grounded interventions and rigorous evaluation across low and middle income countries.
She is an author of over 150 peer reviewed journal publications, and more than a 100 book chapters, reviews and technical reports.
She is a member of the WHO Expert Advisory Panel on Injury and Violence Prevention and Control, WHO Scientific and Technical Advisory Group on HIV and PEPFAR Scientific Advisory Board.
About the topic
“What Works? Strategies for preventing sexual violence”
Internationally recognised expert on sexual violence Professor Rachel Jewkes discussed effective measures for the prevention of sexual violence at the Graeme Schofield Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine Oration on 7 August, 2014.
Professor Jewkes is a public health physician and the Director of the Gender and Health Research Unit at the South African Research Council in Pretoria, South Africa. She is also the Secretary of the Sexual Violence Research Initiative and the Director of the global program called What works to prevent violence? Globally a third of women and girls have experienced physical or sexual violence from an intimate partner. In some regions this prevalence is even higher.
Prevention strategies need to be based on a sound understanding of the drivers of success and evidence of effectiveness. Research on risk factors for perpetration show the critical importance of intervention across the life course, with early childhood experiences and gender socialisation critically impacting on behaviour in adolescence and adulthood. Very high levels of violence are driven by cultures supportive of violence that is those where the use of violence is seen as normal in a wide range of social relations.
Gender-based prevention strategies fall into three main groups. Strategies to prevent violence from occurring focus on intervention to reduce the risk factors that drive the problem. For example by addressing ideals of masculinity that include unfair treatment of women. Other initiatives focus on strengthening women and girl’s resilience to violence through economic and educational empowerment. The third group of strategies seek to prevent violence through stronger and more effective response mechanisms – for example by reducing impunity for rape through better policing and prosecution of offenders, or provision of shelters to enable women to escape violent relationships.
Professor Jewkes’ work has encompassed research into sexual violence in Africa, Asia and the Pacific. This has included detailed mapping of the prevalence and context of sexual violence, gender inequity and health in South Africa. Recently Professor Jewkes was the head technical advisor in a United Nations study which examined the use of violence against women in six nations in Asia and the Pacific and how it can be prevented. This major project involved input from 13,000 men and 3,000 women.
The study found big variations in the prevalence of sexual and physical violence against women by their intimate partners ranging from 25% in Purwejo in Indonesia to 80% in Bougainville in Papua New Guinea. The study also investigated the prevalence of violence against women who were not intimate partners.
Resources and Links:
- Download Professor Rachel Jewkes’ Powerpoint presentation (PDF) from the 2014 Oration: What Works – Strategies for preventing sexual violence by Prof Rachel Jewkes
- Stop Violence Before it Starts (video used in Oration presentation)
- Publications from the ‘What Works to Prevent Violence’ Project
- Video: “War at home,” Rachel Jewkes explains the details around raising boys to be men and what we need to stop rape.
- Presentation by Professor Rachel Jewkes: SVRI Presentation 2013 – Nonpartner rape perpetration (PDF)
- Sexual Violence Research Initiative
- South African Medical Research Council
The 2014 Oration Dinner
When: Thursday 7th August 2014, 7pm
Where: Melbourne Town Hall – Supper Room
Sponsors & Supporters
The 2014 Graeme Schofield Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine Oration would not have been possible without the generous support of its sponsors and supporters. Their support ensured the Oration was a free event for the public and enabled us to attract experts in the field of forensic medicine locally and overseas.
We would like to thank the following organisations for their generous support for the 2014 Oration:
- The Foundation to Prevent Violence against Women and their Children
- The Australian Institute of Family Studies