Today the World Health Organization reported greater than 35 percent of women worldwide experience violence, either at the hands of their domestic partners or as other forms of sexual violence. The WHO study is the first to systematically examine world data on violence against the female sex.
In cooperation with colleagues at the South African Medical Research Council and The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, WHO research compiled data on populations from all over the globe: pinpointing worldwide and local prevalence estimates for intimate partner and sexual violence.
WHO data analysis indicated that violence by an intimate partner was the most likely scenario: 30 percent of all women worldwide have experienced physical and/or sexual violence at the hands of someone they love. When examining the sad statistics of the WHO study, keep in mind that a very high percentage of spousal or intimate partner abuse situations go unreported due to fear, social stigma or cultural conditioning.
In countries in Southeast Asia including Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, East Timor, India, Manmar, Thailand, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Palestine and Jordon, WHO reports as many as 38 percent of women were beaten, battered and bruised by someone with whom they share a special bond of intimacy. Men should be ashamed.
Some of the information gleaned in the study told us nothing we didn’t already know: women who suffer violence at the hands of their intimate partner suffer from low self-esteem, a broad range of health problems, increased addiction to alcohol and drugs, have low-birth-weight babies, abortions and are prone to depression. The statistics are shameful. Physically and sexually abused women have a higher chance of contracting a sexually transmitted disease including HIV.
As much as 38 percent of women worldwide have been sexually assaulted by someone other than their intimate partner. Researchers added a grim footnote: an intimate partner commits 38 percent of all murders of women.
Accompanying the new violence against women statistics, WHO released guidelines to help countries combat the problem. WHO urged countries to train their healthcare workers to recognize, report and recommend treatment.
Domestic Violence Statistics provide insight into the problem of domestic violence in the United States and around the world.
• Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten.
• Around the world, at least one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime. Most often, the abuser is a member of her own family.
• Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.
• Studies suggest that up to 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually.
• Nearly 1 in 5 teenage girls who have been in a relationship said a boyfriend threatened violence or self-harm if presented with a breakup.
• Everyday in the US, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends.
• Ninety-two percent of women surveyed listed reducing domestic violence and sexual assault as their top concern.
• Domestic violence victims lose nearly 8 million days of paid work per year in the US alone—the equivalent of 32,000 full-time jobs.
• Based on reports from 10 countries, between 55 percent and 95 percent of women who had been physically abused by their partners had never contacted non-governmental organizations, shelters, or the police for help.
• The costs of intimate partner violence in the US alone exceed $5.8 billion per year: $4.1 billion are for direct medical and health care services, while productivity losses account for nearly $1.8 billion. Men who as children witnessed their parents’ domestic violence were twice as likely to abuse their own wives than sons of nonviolent parents.
By: Marlene Affeld