Violence Against Women

Whether it's at home, at work, in the streets, or during war, violence against women is a global pandemic.  One in three women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence.  For those of us working to end the violence, we need to have a good understanding of the statistics so we know what we're up against.

One in three women have experienced domestic violence - violence perpetrated by an intimate partner.  In 2012, one out of every two women that were murdered were actually murdered by their partners or family.  Two-thirds of countries have outlawed domestic violence, although only 52 countries have explicitly criminalized marital rape.  2.6 billion women and girls live in places where martial rape is not explicitly criminalized.

Sexual violence is a common experience for women worldwide.  In some countries, up to one-third of adolescent girls report their first sexual experience as being forced.  In most countries, there has been very little research on the issues of rape or sexual assault.

Human trafficking is the acquisition and exploitation of people, snaring them into modern-day slavery, many of whom are sexually exploited.  Of the estimated 21 million people in forced labor, 4.5 million are victims of sexual abuse; 98% of them are female.

Female genital mutilation (FGM) includes procedures that intentionally alter or injure female genital organs for non-medical reasons.  Along with the extreme physical and psychological pain, there are tremendous health risks involved, including death.  An estimated 133 million women and girls alive today have undergone the procedure.

For more information, you can visis VAWnet or the World Health Organization.