The Word Health Organization has recently released findings from its first global study of violence against women and the results are staggering. The series of studies across the globe have revealed that one-third of all women have been physically or sexually assaulted by a current or former partner. Estimates were made in the few areas where numbers were hard to pin down.
Findings reported that 40 percent of women killed had been killed by their partner and physical violence is the most common violence suffered by women.
The heartbreaking findings don’t stop there. It was also reported through these studies that 7 percent of women had been victims of sexual violence by someone other than their partner in their lives. And according to the United Nations, more than 600 million women live in countries where domestic violence is not a crime.
These findings come on the heels of the Senate’s re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) which was partially responsible for a 67% decrease of “intimate partner'” violence cases from 1993 – 2010 (Whitehouse.gov). The study also comes after the recently disturbing discovery that 1 in 3 US military women are sexually assaulted by fellow troops.
When I first heard those statistics I was blown away. Not just because of the math but also because this is, as Head of WHO, Margaret Chan described this as “a global health problem of epidemic proportions.” From personal experience, I know that most abused women feel helpless and that they cannot seek help so they continue to endure the abuse until many of them either run away or are killed — whether they live in a country where domestic violence is legal or not.
With such a large study having highlighted the problem of violence against women, do you think the US will take more aggressive steps to educating about it, reforming legal processes surrounding it and carrying out justice for victims?
What are your thoughts?