Vanuatu National Survey on Women’s Lives and Family Relationships
A population-based study that provides a reliable benchmark on the prevalence and incidence of violence against women in Vanuatu, as well as the attitudes to violence, health effects, risk and protective factors, coping strategies and the implications for prevention and support services. Conducted by the Vanuatu Women’s Centre in partnership with the Vanuatu National Statistics Office from March to May 2009.

Selected statistics

  • 60% of women who have ever been in an intimate relationship have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from their husbands or partners in their lifetimes.
  • For 42% of women who experienced physical violence, the violence incident was followed by rape.
  • 53% of women agree that a woman becomes her husband’s property if bride price is paid.
  • 60% of women agree with at least one justification for a husband beating his wife.
  • 48% of women had experienced physical and/or sexual violence from someone other than their partner.
  • 30% of women had been sexually abused before they turned 15.
  • For 28% of women, their first sexual experience was forced.
  • 80% of women work to earn money for their families, and 30% had their work interrupted due to violence.
  • 56% of women could not earn enough money to feed and house their children and themselves for four weeks if they had to leave.
  • 78% of women could not raise enough money by themselves to pay back their bride price.
  • 57% of women experiencing violence did not seek any help from an agency.
  • Behaviours and situations that challenge traditional gender roles are significant risk factors for experiencing violence.