Explore This Initiative

Mission Statement

The Strength and Serenity Global Initiative Against Gender-Based Violence seeks to create a worldwide consortium to share best practices, develop training programs, and publish on issues pertaining to sexual exploitation and abuse with the goal to end Gender-Based Violence.

About Us

Strength and Serenity is a global initiative to end Gender-Based Violence (GBV).

The European Institute of Gender Equality defines Gender-Based Violence as “violence directed against a person because of their gender”. Although both genders can experience GBV, women and girls around the world are more commonly impacted.

Gender-Based Violence takes various forms in different contexts, but is generally rooted in institutional violence and based on cultural, social, and economical perceptions of preconceived gender roles. 

At the intersection of medicine, public health, culture, and social sciences, our approach is collaborative and constantly evolving. We partner with academics and professionals from different sectors working on the issue of violence to conduct research, develop programs, and inform policies in the U.S. and abroad.

Services Offered

Academic Bibliography

Strength and Serenity regularly compiles and maintains a selection of relevant academic research papers, literature reviews, and recognized journalistic pieces on Gender-Based Violence.

Download our bibliography (PDF) >


Each year, Strength and Serenity organizes a symposium to address a topic related to Gender-Based Violence. This symposium is an opportunity for people from all sectors to learn from professionals in the field about an aspect of Gender-Based Violence and how it is addressed in various fields. Keynote speakers along with smaller discussion groups provide a great learning opportunity and expand the network of professionals interested in the field of GBV.

MGH OB-GYN Global Health Newsletter

Strength and Serenity offers a concise monthly email newsletter, with field perspectives and informative content on topics related to Global Health and Gender-Based Violence.

Read past issues and sign up here.

Ongoing Strength and Serenity Research Projects

Obstetrical Violence

Obstetrical violence is a worldwide phenomenon that takes on various forms, from absence of informed consent to physical harm. Strength and Serenity has published a literature review to assess the prevalence and root causes of obstetrical violence in different countries and develop solutions to address disrespect and abuse in childbirth.

GBV in the Time of COVID

We have compiled a bibliography of relevant literature on the correlation between COVID and GBV increase in the world. The publications selected address issues of access to care, especially sexual and reproductive health services, increase of risk of intimate partner violence, and innovative solutions and resources to address these. 

Yazidi Women and Sexual Violence in ISIS

We have, in collaboration with Hannah Bergbower, published a paper on the use of rape and sexual slavery of Yazidi women in the ISIS control of the Northern region of Iraq.

Suicide as a Consequence of GBV

Relationship of Structural Violence, GBV and Health Outcomes

Watch a recording of Dr. Annekathryn Goodman's webinar on this topic.

Documentation of Rape, GBV, and Human Trafficking: The Rohingya Experience

Our Training Program

Humanitarian interventions are designed to bring often life-saving support to vulnerable populations. To ensure that these interventions take into account gender dynamics, and do not neglect the needs of women and girls, humanitarian workers need to be acutely aware of the importance of designing projects that specifically addresses those populations.

Strength and Serenity has created a training program for medical and public health professionals deployed in humanitarian missions and wishing to approach field work with a gender-sensitive perspective. Our training program incorporates elements of implicit bias training and addresses underlying issues of gender and race discrimination as well as neglect in humanitarian work.

This training program is designed to bring a gender perspective to all types of humanitarian interventions, from setting up a latrine system in a refugee camp to screening for GBV in a typhoon-affected village. Using case studies, key concepts and talking points, the training encourages role-play and open discussion on how to best address different situations humanitarian workers may encounter.

Session dates for 2020: September 29th, October 20th, December 15th, January 16th 2021, 12:00 - 1:00 pm

Register for December 15 session:
Gender-Based Violence in Disaster & Humanitarian Settings: Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH). For more information and to register

Open only to Mass General Brigham staff. CME credit available.

Seminar 1: Screening

Seminar 2: GBV Interventions

Our Team

Annekathryn Goodman, MDAnnekathryn Goodman, MD, MS, MA, MPH

Dr. Annekathryn Goodman is a professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive biology at Harvard Medical School and a fellow of both the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American College of Surgeons. She has a fulltime practice in gynecologic oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital and is an affiliate of Mass General Global Disaster Response and Humanitarian Action and the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School and an associate of Mass General's Center for Global Health. She is the director of the Strength & Serenity Mass General Global Initiative to End Gender-Based Violence and co-director of Mass General Women’s Global Health.

She completed medical school and residency training in obstetrics and gynecology at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston and her fellowship training in gynecologic oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital. In addition to board certification in gynecologic oncology, she is certified in acupuncture and has completed training in both pastoral and palliative care. She received a certificate in Clinical Ethics and Health Policy from the Center for Practical Bioethics, University of Kansas Medical School. She received a certificate in Global health and MPH in Health Policy and Management from New York Medical College. She has undergone advanced training in humanitarian disaster relief work through the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, Missioncraft in disaster relief operations, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma.

She was the director of the Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship Program at Massachusetts General Hospital from 1998 through 2017. She is the past president of The Obstetrical Society of Boston and of the New England Society of Gynecologic Oncologists. She is also a member of the Ethics Committee at Massachusetts General Hospital.

She is a member of the national Trauma and Critical Care Team, a branch of the US Department of Health and Human Services and has deployed to various international disasters. Since 2008, she has been consulting in Bangladesh on cervical cancer prevention and the development of medical infrastructure to care for women with gynecologic cancers. She has directed a two-month observership in gynecologic oncology at Mass General for physicians from resource-limited countries since 2016.

Violette PerrotteViolette Perrotte

Violette Perrotte is a public health professional who has dedicated her career to fighting against gender-based violence in France, the US and on the African continent. Her previous professional experiences focused on intimate partner violence in young couples, access to sexual and reproductive health and female genital mutilation care for migrant women in Europe. Before her master's degree at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, she was the program manager for La Maison des Femmes (House of Women), France's first multidisciplinary health center dedicated to vulnerable women.

Mary GreenwaldMary Greenwald

Mary Greenwald has a background in clinical ethics, health law and domestic violence advocacy. Most recently, she worked in the Office of Clinical Ethics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, developing ethics teaching materials and educational programs for the hospital community. Prior to that, Mary was a staff attorney at Mass General Brigham and a legal advocate at The Second Step, where she collaborated with survivors of gender-based violence and their families to help build a future free from abuse.