Violence against women - the facts

Violence Against Women: Facts and Background

"Violence against women continues to persist as one of the most heinous, systematic and prevalent human rights abuses in the world. It is a threat to all women, and an obstacle to all our efforts for development, peace, and gender equality in all societies." Ban Ki moon, United Nations Secretary General, 2007

 

Violence and the threat of violence affect women across the world, regardless of wealth, race, and culture. It inflicts devastating physical and psychological impacts on women and has wide-ranging costs for their families communities and societies. Violence against women includes rape and sexual violence, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, stalking, commercial sexual exploitation such as prostitution and pornography, crimes and murders committed in the name of ‘honour’, sexual harassment and domestic violence.

Historically, violence against women, particularly domestic violence, has been hidden, ignored and left off the human rights agenda. It is often seen as a 'private issue' or a women's issue' and not treated with the seriousness it deserves. We need to change this. Violence against women is never normal, legal or acceptable and should never be tolerated or justified. Everyone – individuals (both men and women), communities, governments, and international bodies - has a responsibility to put a stop to it and to redress the suffering it causes.

Some statistics

Scotland

  • A domestic violence incident is recorded every 10 minutes in Scotland with 53,681 incidents reported in 2008-9.1
  • In 2011-12 Crimes of rape increased by 13% to 1,2742
  • There were over 7000 reports of sexual offences in 2011 -123
  • 26% of Scots surveyed in 2007 thought that a woman bore some responsibility for being raped if she wore revealing clothing4
  • The number of reported domestic violence incidents steadily increase each year.5
  • In 2011-12, 81% of recorded domestic abuse incidents were violence against a woman committed by a man.6
  • 1 in 3 teenage girls in a relationship, suffer an unwanted sexual act7
  • At least 1 in 5 women in Scotland will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.8
  • In a 2005 study of young people’s attitudes, 1 in 5 young men believe that women often ’provoke violence'.9

UK

  • 45% of women have experienced some form of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.10
  • 21% of girls and 16% of boys experience some form of child sexual abuse11
  • At least 80,000 women suffer rape every year.12
  • In a survey for Amnesty International, over 1 in 4 respondents  thought a women was partially or totally responsible for being raped if she was wearing sexy or revealing clothing, and more than 1 in 5 held the same view if a woman had had many sexual partners.13
  • On average, two women a week in England and Wales are killed by a violent partner or ex-partner. This constitutes nearly 40% of all female homicide victims.14
  • 70% of incidents of domestic violence result in injury, (compared with 50% of incidents of acquaintance violence, 48% of stranger violence and 29% of mugging).15
  • Around 85% of forced marriage victims are women16
  • Domestic violence is estimated to cost victims, services and the state a total of around £23 billion a year.17

 

Globally

  • At least one in three women is beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused by an intimate partner in the course of her lifetime.18
  • Women aged 15-44 are more at risk from rape and domestic violence than from cancer, motor accidents, war and malaria, according to World Bank data.19
  • Approximately 80,000 women suffer rape and attempted rape every year 20
  • More than 60 million women are "missing" from the world today as a result of sex-selective abortions and female infanticide (Amartya Sen, Nobel Laureate)
  • Several global surveys suggest that half of all women who die from homicide are killed by their current or former husbands or partners.

1           http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2009/11/23112407/3

2           Findings from the Wave 10 post-campaign evaluation of the Domestic Abuse Campaign 2006/07, see http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2007/08/01142941/0

3           http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/0039/00396557.pdf

4           http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/0039/00396557.pdf

5           http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2009/11/23112407/3

6           http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/0040/00408658.pdf

7         http://www.nspcc.org.uk/help-and-advice/for-parents-and-carers/parenting... and-sex/teenagers-and-sex_wda92607.html

8           http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/People/Equality/violence-women/Key-Facts

9           Young People’s Attitudes Towards Gendered Violence: Burman and Cartmel, 2005. http://www.healthscotland.com/documents/476.aspx

10               Walby, S. & Allen, J. (2004) Domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking: Findings from the British Crime Survey. Home Office. London.

11               HM Government (2007) Cross-government Action Plan on Sexual Violence and Abuse. Home Office. London.

12             Walby, S. & Allen, J. (2004) Domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking: Findings from the British Crime Survey. Home Office. London.

13             Amnesty UK (2005) Sexual Assault Research. Amnesty. London.

14          Povey, D. (2005) Crime in England and Wales 2003/2004: Supplementary Volume 1: Homicide and Gun Crime. Home Office Statistical Bulletin No. 02/05. Home Office. London; Department of Health (2005) Responding to Domestic Abuse. DH. London. (from ‘Statistics on Domestic Violence’: www.womensaid.org.uk)

15          Dodd, T. et al (2004) Crime in England and Wales 2003-2004. Home Office. London (from ‘Statistics on Domestic Violence’: www.womensaid.org.uk)

16             Forced Marriage: A Wrong not a Right, Home Office and Foreign & Commonwealth Office, 2005

17             S Walby, The Cost of Domestic Violence

18             Unifem (2003) Not a minute more: Ending Violence Against Women. United Nations Development Fund for Women. New York. http://www.un.org/women/endviolence/docs/VAW.pdf

19             Unifem (2003) Not a minute more: Ending Violence Against Women. United Nations Development Fund for Women. New York. http://www.un.org/women/endviolence/docs/VAW.pdf

20             Walby, S. & Allen, J. (2004) Domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking: Findings from the British Crime Survey. Home Office. London.

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FACTS


Violence and the threat of violence affect women across the world, regardless of wealth, race, and culture. It inflicts devastating physical and psychological impacts on women and has wide-ranging costs for their families communities and societies.

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