“Violence against women both violates and impairs or nullifies the enjoyment by women of their human rights and fundamental freedoms… In all societies, to a greater or lesser degree, women and girls are subjected to physical, sexual and psychological abuse that cuts across lines of income, class and culture.”
—Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, paragraph 112
Violence against women has been called “the most pervasive yet least recognized human rights abuse in the world.” In every country across the globe, every day of the week, every hour of every day, women are victims of violence based on their gender.
Gender-based violence both reflects and reinforces inequities between men and women and compromises the health, dignity, security and autonomy of its victims. It encompasses a wide range of human rights violations, including sexual abuse of children, rape, domestic violence, sexual assault and harassment, trafficking of women and girls and several harmful traditional practices. Any one of these abuses can leave deep psychological scars, damage the health of women and girls in general, including their reproductive and sexual health, and in some instances, results in death.
To give you a tiny glimpse into an epidemic problem, here are twenty-five of the most shocking facts about violence against women:
More than one in three women worldwide have experienced physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner violence. In some countries, more than 70 percent of women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence at the hands of an intimate partner.
Nine out of ten victims of intimate partner violence in the US and the EU are women. This number is even higher in developing nations.
About one in four men across the world has raped someone at some point in their lives. About half of these men have raped multiple women — nearly 30 percent have raped 2-3 women, 12 percent have raped 4-10 women, and about five percent had raped 10 or more women. In Papua New Guinea, more than 60 percent of men admit to raping at least one woman.
More than 70 percent of men who have admitted to raping someone said they did it because of “sexual entitlement.”
Getting Help Can Be Difficult…
In all but six states in the U.S., women can be fired from their job for being a victim of domestic violence.
Stigma and fear often prevent women from seeking help. Between 55 and 95 percent of women who have been physically abused by their partners have never contacted the police or other sources (like shelters) for help. This number is even lower for sexual violence.
It comes in many forms…
Approximately 140 million women and girls in the world have suffered female genital mutilation/cutting.
Nearly fourteen women are murdered in “honor killings” every single day. In an average year, at least 5,000 women are victims of honor killings — but experts say this number vastly underestimates the true prevalence. Most of these do not make the news, and men who commit honor killings may even be treated with admiration or be given special status within their communities.
In several countries in the Middle East, men who commit honor killings are protected from prosecution by special legal codes. For example, in Jordan, men who kill their wives or female family members for suspected adultery are protected by Article 340 of the Jordanian Penal Code. In Iran, the killing of a female child is not subject to punishment if she is killed by her father or grandfather. The same exemption applies to men who kill their wives for suspected adultery.
Rape has long been used as a tactic of war. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, an average of at least 36 women and girls — 1,100 per month — are raped.
In the U.S., Women Are More Likely to be Killed by Intimate Partners Than Anyone Else…
Females killed by male partners make up 70 percent of all victims killed by an intimate partner in the U.S..
Sixteen times as many women in the U.S. are murdered by a male they knew than are killed by male strangers.
Homicide at the hands of an intimate partner is the leading cause of death for African American women ages 15-34.
Of females killed with a firearm in the U.S., about two-thirds are killed by a current or former intimate partner.
The presence of a firearm quickly escalates violence against women, increasing the chance of fatality by 500 percent.
The Consequences are Severe…
Worldwide, intimate partner violence is the leading cause of non-fatal injuries among women.
Nearly half of all incidents of intimate partner violence against women result in injury.
Women who are victims of intimate partner violence are at least 48 percent more likely to be infected with HIV/AIDS than non-abused women.
Intimate partner violence costs billions of dollars each year to national economies. In the U.S., the economic costs resulting from intimate partner violence against women exceed $8.3 billion each year, of which more than $4 billion is spent on direct medical costs. When pain, suffering, and lost quality of life are taken into account, this number rises to a staggering $67 billion/year.
More than half of female intimate partner violence victims in the U.S. miss three or more full days of work each month due to their abuse. In the U.S. alone, intimate partner violence against women results in an estimated 13.5 million lost days of work each year.
Not Everyone Is Working To Stop It…
Of the 31 Senate votes cast against the Violence Against Women Act in 2012, 95.8 percent came from older, white, male Republicans. The remaining 4.2 percent of votes against the Violence Against Women Act were cast by younger, male Republicans, at least one of whom sits on the Science Committee yet is unable to say how old the earth is.
“Violence against women and girls is the most pervasive violation of human rights in the world today. Its forms are both subtle and blatant and its impact on development profound. But it is so deeply embedded in cultures around the world that it is almost invisible. Yet this brutality is not inevitable. Once recognized for what it is—a construct of power and a means of maintaining the status quo—it can be dismantled.”
– Charlotte Bunch, UNICEF, The Intolerable Status Quo: Violence Against Women and Girls
- ‘Suffering In Silence’: New Report Finds That Rape Is Being Used ‘Routinely’ As A Method Of Torture Against Women In The Democratic Republican Of Congo (publichealthwatch.wordpress.com)
- Physicians Issue Call To Action On Violence Against Women And Girls (publichealthwatch.wordpress.com)
- What The Santa Barbara Shooting Shows Us About The Culture Of Violence Against Women In The U.S. (publichealthwatch.wordpress.com)
- STUDY: Intimate Partner Violence Jeopardizes New Mothers’ Mental Health (publichealthwatch.wordpress.com)
- The Gun Violence Threat No One Is Talking About – And Why Women Should Be Concerned (publichealthwatch.wordpress.com)
- New Research On Domestic Violence Shows Devastating Impact On New Mothers (publichealthwatch.wordpress.com)
- STUDY: Abusive Relationships Increase Women’s Risk Of HIV Infection (publichealthwatch.wordpress.com)
- New Study Shows Devastating Impact Of Domestic Violence On Children (publichealthwatch.wordpress.com)
- Supreme Court Unanimously Rejects Challenge To Domestic Abuser Gun Law (publichealthwatch.wordpress.com)
- New Report Highlights Devastating Impact Of Domestic Violence (publichealthwatch.wordpress.com)
- Survivors Of Domestic Violence Now Have Better Access To Health Insurance Through Affordable Care Act (publichealthwatch.wordpress.com)
- Jimmy Carter: Violence Against Women Is The Most Pervasive Human Rights Violation In The World (publichealthwatch.wordpress.com)
- Deadly Duo: How Anti-Choice Laws Help Abusers Continue The Cycle Of Violence Against Women (publichealthwatch.wordpress.com)
- Study Explores Intimate Partner Violence Across Generations (publichealthwatch.wordpress.com)
- Risk Of Intimate Partner Violence Victimization Higher Among LGB Populations, Consequences More Severe (publichealthwatch.wordpress.com)
- Study: Women With Severe Mental Illness Are Four Times More Likely To Be Victims Of Intimate Partner Violence (publichealthwatch.wordpress.com)
- The GOP’s Other War On Women: 5 Gender Battlegrounds Beyond Abortion And Contraception (publichealthwatch.wordpress.com)
- New Research Shows Why Access To Abortion Services Is Crucial For The Safety Of Domestic Violence Victims (publichealthwatch.wordpress.com)
- Army’s Top Sexual Assault Prosecutor Suspended For Alleged Sexual Assault (publichealthwatch.wordpress.com)
- New Study Disputes Robin Thicke: Sexual Aggression Doesn’t Actually Have Blurred Lines After All! (publichealthwatch.wordpress.com)
- How Gender-Based Violence Threatens Women’s Health (publichealthwatch.wordpress.com)
- How Individual Sexist Beliefs Lead To Widespread Gender Inequality (publichealthwatch.wordpress.com)
- Men Who Are Bullied As Children Are More Likely To Become Abusers As Adults (publichealthwatch.wordpress.com)
- Hillary Clinton: Women’s Rights Are Men’s Responsibility, Too (publichealthwatch.wordpress.com)
- Study: Gender-Based Violence Is Vastly Underreported (publichealthwatch.wordpress.com)
- Gaps In The Law: Why Some States Still Can’t Keep Guns From People With A History Of Violence (publichealthwatch.wordpress.com)
- What Should We Do If A Convicted Domestic Abuser Is Amassing An Arsenal? Let’s Wait Until Something Happens, Say Police (publichealthwatch.wordpress.com)
- Domestic Violence Awareness Month: The Impact Of The Government Shutdown (publichealthwatch.wordpress.com)
- Study: Reproductive Coercion More Common Than We Thought (publichealthwatch.wordpress.com)
- Weapons Increase Risk Of Repeat Abuse For Victims Of Domestic Violence (publichealthwatch.wordpress.com)
- Domestic Violence & Firearms: A Deadly Affair (publichealthwatch.wordpress.com)
- Domestic Violence Awareness Month: Keeping Guns Out Of The Hands Of Convicted Abusers (publichealthwatch.wordpress.com)
- Republican Senate Hopeful Thinks Justice System Is “Stacked Against” Domestic Abusers. One More Thing: He Is A Convicted Domestic Abuser. (publichealthwatch.wordpress.com)
- Violence Against Women: A Multi-Level Analysis, Part 2: Defining A Public Health Approach To Violence Prevention (publichealthwatch.wordpress.com)
- Reproductive Coercion: The Facts, Stats, And Scary Reality Of This Growing Problem (publichealthwatch.wordpress.com)
- Recognizing Reproductive Coercion For What It Is: A Crime (publichealthwatch.wordpress.com)
- The Link Between Domestic Violence And Chronic Illness (publichealthwatch.wordpress.com)
- Study Finds Link Between Domestic Violence and Chronic Illness (publichealthwatch.wordpress.com)