Violence Against Women Around the World
For the most part, the human cost of gender-based violence is invisible. Although much energy has gone into trying to calculate this cost, the task is an uphill climb - fear and shame continue to prevent many women from speaking out, and data collected is often insufficient and inconsistent. There has been significant progress in the last two decades however, to bring the issue into the open and place it firmly on national and international policy agendas.

Women's organizations have taken the lead in developing innovative efforts ranging from providing services, drafting and lobbying for legislation, raising awarenss through advocacy, education and training, and building national, regional and international end-violence networks.

More than 45 countries now have specific legislation on domestic violence and a growing number of countries have instituted national plans of action to end violence against women. But the absence of adequate resources to implement policies continues to hamper progress.
  • One in three women around the world will experience violence during her lifetime -- most often at the hands of people she knows. (State of the World Population 2000, U.N. Population Fund) 
  • Three out of every four child victims/survivors of violence are girls. (U.S, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1996) 
  • Adolescent girls are disproportionately the reported victims of rape. A study released in 1998 found that 54% of female rape victims were 17 or younger, and 22% were under age 12. Prevalence, Incidence and Consequences of Violence Against Women: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey, National Institute of Justice and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 
  • Two million girls under age 15 are forced into the sex trade each year. (State of the World Population 2000, U.N. Population Fund) 
  • Forty percent of teenage girls age 14 to 17 report knowing someone their age who has been hit or beaten by a boyfriend. (Children Now/Kaiser Permanent poll, December, 1995)
More Violence Against Women Facts

* Violence against women ranked as high as cancer for killing and incapacitating women of childbearing age in 1993.

* At least 20 percent of the world's women have been physically or sexually assaulted by a man.

* In Papua New Guinea, 67 percent of rural women and 56 percent of urban women have been physically abused.

* Sixty-two percent of Canadian women murdered in 1987 died at the hands of a relative or partner.

* Two million girls and women are genitally mutilated each year. An estimated 130 million women alive today have undergone the practice.

* Each day in India, more than 12 women die due to dowry disputes, mostly in kitchen fires designed to look like accidents.

* Honor killings account for 25 deaths a year in Jordan, one-quarter of the country's murder rate.

* Roughly 20,000 women were raped in the conflict in the former Yugoslavia.

* Each year, 700,000 women are raped or sexually assaulted in the US.

* Two million girls ages 5 to 15 are trafficked, sold or coerced into the commercial sex market including prostitution - every year."

COPYRIGHT 2000 Women's International Network
COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group


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