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Refers to the community contexts in which social relationships are embedded— such as schools, workplaces, and neighborhoods — and seeks to identify the characteristics of these settings that are associated with people becoming victims or perpetrators of intimate partner and sexual violence (WHO, 2010).

  • Poverty and associated factors (e.g., overcrowding)
  • Low social capital — lack of institutions, relationships, and norms that shape a community’s social interactions
  • Weak community sanctions against IPV (e.g., unwillingness of neighbors to intervene in situations where they witness violence) (CDC)


Includes the larger, macro-level factors that influence sexual and intimate partner violence, such as gender inequality, religious or cultural belief systems, societal norms, and economic or social policies  that create or sustain gaps and tensions between groups of people (WHO, 2009).

DVN will lead a community discussion on risk and protective factors through social media, advocates meetings, engaging with organizations who specialize in the area, and community roundtables to understand how each risk factor contributes to domestic violence and to identify ways to increase protective factors.

Domestic Violence prevention programs should increase focus on transforming gender norms and attitudes, addressing childhood abuse, and reducing harmful drinking. Development initiatives to improve access to education for girls and boys may also have an important role in violence prevention (WHO, 2009).