WHO report highlights violence against women as a ‘global health problem of epidemic proportions’

A report came out today from the Wold Health Organization on violence against women and asserts that “physical or sexual violence is a public health problem that affects more than one third of all women globally.”

Let me just quote a few of the shocking numbers:

  • Globally, 38% of all women who were murdered were murdered by their intimate partners, and 42% of women who have experienced physical or sexual violence at the hands of a partner had experienced injuries as a result.
  • Women who have experienced partner violence are almost twice as likely to experience depression compared to women who have not experienced any violence. (Same number for women to have alcohol-use problems.)
  • Women who experience physical and/or sexual partner violence are
    • 1.5 times more likely to acquire syphilis infection, chlamydia, or gonorrhea. In some regions this applies to HIV.
    • twice as likely to have an abortion than women who do not experience this violence.

In the report WHO has identified the key elements of a health sector response to violence against women which result in the following recommendations:

  • Women centered care
  • Identification and care for survivors of intimate  partner violence
  • Clinical care for survivors of sexual violence
  • Training of health-care providers on intimate partner violence and sexual violence
  • Health-care policy and provision
  • Mandatory reporting of intimate partner violence


Click on the image for the full infographic and for the detailed explanation of the recommendations.


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