Violence against children is a global public health concern with an estimated 1 billion children affected annually. For the first time in the history of the United Nations, childhood violence exposure and prevention is on the global agenda as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. But why is violence prevention important and how can we prevent violence? The global community has very good research evidence of the impact of violence on outcomes throughout the life-course and the drivers of violence in childhood. Research efforts on the magnitude of violence against children and effective intervention programmes are lagging behind. If we are to reach the elimination of children’s exposure to all forms of violence by 2030, we need evidence-based prevention and response mechanisms which are rolled out at scale across countries and adapted to meet the needs of the families and societies in which they are implemented.