"Violence against women is perhaps the most shameful human rights violation. And it is perhaps the most pervasive. I know no boundaries of geography, culture, or wealth. As long as it continues, we cannot claim to be making real progress towards equality, development, and peace." --Kofi Annan, UN Secretary General 1999


At least one out of every three women around the world has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime - with the abuser usually someone know to her.1 Violence against women and girls is a universal problem of epidemic proportions. Perhaps the most pervasive human rights violation that we know today, it devastates lives, fractures communities, and stalls development.
 In a World Bank report, it was estimated that violence against women was as a serious cause of death and incapacity among women of reproductive age as cancer, and a greater cause of ill-health than traffic accidents and malaria combined.2 The economic costs is also considerable - a report on domestic violence in New York City, estimated that the total annual cost of violence to residents totaled US$500 million, including the costs of emergency room visits, court action, law enforcement and the money lost to employers from reduced productivity, and absenteeism.3

Statistics paint a horrifying picture of the social consequences of violence against women. This section includes information on various forms of violent crimes in the United States including domestic violence, sexual assault, gay bashing, etc.. We have also included data for underserved populations. 

In the United States

Sexual Assault
Domestic Violence
Violence Against Latina Women and Girls
The Trafficking of Mexican Women and Children

Around the World

Violence Against Women
Women and Beauty - Avon Global Women's Survey 2000
Women and Health - Avon Global Women's Survey 2002

1.Ending Violence Against Women, Population Reports, Issues in World Health Series L, number 11, XXVII, Population Information Program, the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, December 1999.
2. World Bank 1993. World Development Report 1993: Investing in Health, New York: Oxford University Press.
3. NYC Statistics, 1996 Report of the Commission on Domestic Violence.

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