All children deserve a school environment that is safe and nurturing – one that will allow them to grow, thrive, and maximize their full potential. Yet many students in the developing world face a different daily reality. The physical, psychological, and sexual violence they experience in and around school compromises their ability to fully realize the benefits of education. It impacts whether students enroll in and attend school and whether they are engaged, motivated, and able to concentrate and learn while there. Gender violence can occur in classrooms, dormitories, boarding houses, administrative buildings, teachers’ residences, other parts of school grounds, and on the way to and from school. It can have short- and long-term impacts on students’ health and well-being, including reproductive health problems, broken bones, cognitive impairment, substance abuse, depression, and suicidal behavior, among others.
Despite these consequences, there is limited understanding of the depth and breadth of school-related gender-based violence (SRGBV) in the developing world. This report of USAID reviews the literature on SRGBV in order to improve understanding about its causes, prevalence, and consequences. It examines how gender norms, poverty, and a culture of violence contribute to SRGBV. The report explores violence that is perpetrated by both male and female students and teachers. While much of the literature focuses on sexual violence, this report also highlights the prevalence and impact of physical and psychological abuse. It examines barriers to preventing and responding to SRGBV, including silence around the issue, inadequate laws and codes of conduct, enforcement problems with existing laws, shortages of teachers and guidance
counselors, and flaws in the design and implementation of existing interventions.