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This brief explores the implications for the provision of essential services for women and girls who have experienced violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. It provides recommendations for governments, civil society, and international organizations that are seeking to improve the quality of and access to coordinated health, police and justice, and social services for all women and girls during the crisis and provides examples of promising practices to date.
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The Essential services package forms part of the United Nations Joint Global Programme on Essential Services for Women and Girls Subject to Violence. This programme is a partnership by UN Women, UNFPA, WHO, UNDP and UNODC which aims to provide greater access to a coordinated set of essential and quality multi-sectoral services for all women and girls who have experienced gender-based violence. This programme is supported by the Governments of Australia and Spain.
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Prevention cannot be a short-term effort, but rather an endeavour that requires ongoing commitment from governments and other stakeholders, increased research to inform and monitor progress, and persistent action that addresses violence against women at its source. The joint UN framework draws together contemporary knowledge and practice in violence prevention. Its focus is on addressing the root causes as well as risk and protective factors associated with violence against women.