Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI)

Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI) – Organisation


South Africa


International, National (all SA)




Gender and Health Research Unit
Medical Research Council, South Africa
1 Soutpansberg Road, Pretoria


The SVRI, a global research initiative, aims to promote good quality, priority driven research on sexual and intimate partner violence in low and middle income countries. We do this by:

  • Increasing awareness of sexual violence as a priority public health problem through evidence-based communication and information
  • Building capacity in sexual violence research
  • Improving knowledge of sexual violence internationally to influence policy and service delivery
  • Promoting donor and researcher involvement in supporting and undertaking research on sexual violence

Globally, most of our knowledge on how to respond to survivors of sexual violence and prevent violence against women and children comes from high income countries. Much of the work done in this field focuses on adult women, with little attention given to the needs of children, and little understanding of male perpetration behavior of violence, and the root causes of this violence. The SVRI is working to redress these inequities in research flows and funds and gaps, and to build knowledge on how to better care and support survivors and to prevent sexual and intimate partner violence in resource poor settings.

A key priority for the SVRI is primary prevention of sexual and intimate partner violence i.e to stop the violence before it starts. To do so, we must, among other things, support parents and children.  Supporting parents and children through carefully designed programmes are a key element in preventing child abuse and neglect. This is important because children who have been abused are at risk of growing to be violent adolescents and adults, or being re-victimised.

The SVRI is working in a number of countries globally to build the evidence base for preventing sexual and intimate partner violence through parenting and school based interventions. 

Download the SVRI Brochure

Download the SVRI Research Agenda

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