By Dominique Mosbergen Posted: 06/20/2013
About one in three women worldwide experience sexual or physical violence at least once in their lives, according to a World Health Organization report released Thursday.
Put together by the WHO in partnership with the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the South African Medical Research Council, the report says 35 percent of women around the world are victims of sexual or physical violence, and that assault at the hands of an intimate partner is by far the most common form of such violence. In fact, a whopping 30 percent of women globally were found to be domestic violence victims.
“These findings send a powerful message that violence against women is a global health problem of epidemic proportions,” said Dr. Margaret Chan, director-general of WHO, in a statement. “We also see that the world’s health systems can and must do more for women who experience violence.”
The study found that 38 percent of all women who were murdered were killed by their intimate partners, and more than 40 percent of domestic violence victims were found to have suffered injuries from those incidents.
In addition, the study showed that women who experience violence at the hands of their intimate partners are more likely to suffer from depression, have alcohol use problems, unwanted pregnancies and abortions, as well as sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.
Citing the recent assault of celebrity chef Nigella Lawson by her husband, one of the report’s authors told Reuters that violence against women is truly a concern for everyone on the planet.
“This is an everyday reality for many, many women,” said the author, Charlotte Watts, a health policy expert at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. “[I]t’s not just poor women, or women in a certain country. This really is a global issue.”