What is “violence against women”?

It is violence and abuse used to establish and maintain control, and is a cause and consequence of gender inequality. There are a number of crimes and behaviours that are perpetrated mostly by men and affect women and children disproportionately including:

  • domestic abuse;
  • sexual violence (rape, incest and childhood sexual abuse);
  • sexual harassment and intimidation at work and in the public sphere;
  • commercial sexual exploitation including prostitution, pornography and human trafficking;
  • forced and child marriages, dowry related violence, honour crimes, female genital mutilation.

Who is affected?

Violence Against Women is harmful to individuals and society as a whole.

  • Women are the main victims
  • Men and boys are affected by the impact of the violence and abuse on their mothers, daughters, sisters or friends
  • Many children experience / witness abuse within their homes

Are many women affected?

Women can experience a range of violence and at different stages in their lives. We know there is under-reporting, however research suggests around:

  • 25% of women experience domestic abuse from a partner  in their lifetime
  • 5% of women experience at least one form of “serious sexual assault”
  • 67 calls were made to the Scottish Forced Marriage helpline (Nov 2011 to Sept 2012).
  • 80% of stalking victims are female, with a third experiencing sexual violence
  • 20% of women and 5% of men have experienced childhood sexual abuse
  • A third of teenage girls in a relationship suffer an unwanted sexual act
  • A third of young men and a sixth of young women (14 to18 year olds) think that using violence in intimate relationships is acceptable under certain circumstances.
  • 32% of pupils in one secondary school in Scotland disclosed that they were currently experiencing or living with domestic abuse.
  • 20,000 girls in the UK are at risk of female genital mutilation

For more information see Fife Domestic and Sexual Abuse Partnership



Board Diversity Plan 2018-2020

 White Rib bon Scotla nd publishes Board Diversity 2018-2020


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A domestic violence incident is recorded every 10 minutes in Scotland with nearly 50,000 incidents reported in 2011-12.

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