Quarter of women and girls have been abused by a partner, says WHO

Quarter of women and girls have been abused by a partner, says WHO
Banners on balconies in Beirut, Lebanon, protesting against domestic violence during a campaign dubbed #LockdownNotLockup in April last year. Source: AFP via Getty
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Daily US Times: One in four girls and women around the world have been sexually or physically assaulted by a husband or male partner, the largest study yet of the prevalence of violence against women finds.

The report was conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UN partners. It found that domestic violence started young, with a quarter of 15- to 19-year-old girls and young women estimated to have been abused at least once in their lives.

The highest rates of domestic violence were found to be among 30- to 39-year-olds.

When figures for non-partner violence are included, the report estimates that about a third of women aged 15 or older – between 736 million and 852 million – will experience some form of physical or sexual violence in their lifetime.

The study analysed data on non-intimate – defined as perpetrated by someone the victim knows or a starnger – and intimate partner violence covering 161 countries, published between 2000 and 2018.

It doesn’t reflect the continuing impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Last year, the United Nations predicted at least 15 million extra cases of domestic violence around the world as a result of coronavirus restrictions.

The WHO report focused on sexual and physical violence, but noted that actual rates would be far higher if other types of abuse were included, such as online sexual harassment and violence.

Levels of violence against women and girls were higher in low- and middle-income countries. South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa had some of the highest rates of intimate partner violence among girls and women aged 15 to 49.

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