Global Outrage: More Than 1/3 of World’s Women Suffer Physical or Sexual Violence
One in three women suffers violence, global study finds
WHO research reveals shocking extent of attacks on women, the vast majority of which are carried out by male partners
More than a third of all women worldwide – 35.6% – will experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, usually from a male partner, according to the first comprehensive study of its kind from the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The report reveals the shocking extent of attacks on women from the men with whom they share their lives, with 30% of women being attacked by partners. It also finds that a large proportion of murders of women – 38% – are carried out by intimate partners.
“These findings send a powerful message that violence against women is a global health problem of epidemic proportions,” said Dr Margaret Chan, director general of the WHO. “We also see that the world’s health systems can and must do more for women who experience violence.”
The highest levels of violence against women are in Africa, where nearly half of all women – 45.6% – will suffer physical or sexual violence. In low- and middle-income Europe, the proportion is 27.2%. Yet wealthier nations are not necessarily always safer for women – a third of women in high-income countries (32.7%) will experience violence at some stage in their life….
Pacific women suffering in terrible silence
- Date November 25, 2011
”Everyone wept!” Penny Williams, Australia’s new Global Ambassador for Women and Girls, had eyes the size of saucers as she described the scene at a recent Australia-US discussion about violence against women in the Pacific. ”They were loud tears too, and I mean really loud. We were all crying.”
The trigger for this was an address by a disabled Fijian woman who, quietly and with dignity, described how she’d been repeatedly raped. For many in the room it was just too much. Violence against women and the exploitation of girls in many of our neighbouring Pacific countries is endemic, with rates of abuse and rape now among the worst in the world.
Recent AusAID reports on violence against women in Melanesia and East Timor, and a UN report, provided the backdrop. In Papua New Guinea, 67 per cent of women are beaten by their husbands – 100 per cent in the highlands – with gang rape and pay-back rape common.
In Tuvalu, half the females surveyed lost their virginity in forced sex. In Samoa, 46 per cent of women are physically abused, and up to 8 per cent are beaten unconscious by their spouse. In Fiji, 66 per cent of women have been physically abused by their partners; 26 per cent were beaten while pregnant. And in Kiribati, 68 per cent of women have been physically or sexually abused.
These are unconscionable statistics. But even more alarming is the anecdotal evidence. A PNG field worker told AusAID: ”The husbands of working women like to give their wives black eyes, so everyone can see he is still boss.”
A policewoman in Timor-Leste, who described common domestic violence as ”beating, choking, whipping with rope, breaking bones, burning with fire, and banging heads on the floor”, went on to say many of the victims fail to see this as a crime. ”They think of it as a normal, acceptable event because it happens daily,” she said.
He was speaking about the bombing of All Saints Anglican church in Peshawar, Pakistan, in which 85 were killed and more than 200 injured.
But he said that Christians were also being singled out for violence in a string of other countries.
Christian communities which have existed “in many cases since the days of Saint Paul” are now under threat in countries such as Syria and Egypt, he said.
Women suffering in silence (Reuters photographers blog)
The following is worth visiting and viewing to have a glimpse of the conditions of women whom you have never heard of.
Suffering in silence By Akhtar Soomro
Arriving for my trip to…Home…introduced me to the lady in charge. She welcomed me and let me in by crossing an iron grill gate separating this place from the outer world.
As I walked through the huge corridor housing a row of rooms, each consisting of a bath, windows, square holes in the roofs for ventilation and an iron bar door. In these rooms resided elderly women, victims of mental illness, children missing from their families and victims of domestic violence…
While passing through the halls I was stopped by many young and elderly women, their chins up to stare into me with their sad eyes and murmuring lips, wanting me to listen to them, and their tale of how they came to this…
Some of them were yelling and touching my chin to listen to them as I sat with them. They wanted me to hear them over and over again in the hopes that their voice might reach their loved ones – and that one day they will finally come to take them from here…I asked myself ‘what am I supposed to do?’ as they see me as their supporter and want me to hear them, their pain and misery, and expect my help in doing something for them. But I was there on an assignment to photograph them and get paid for that. I am not a healer, nor a humanitarian tasked to solve issues – as they were expecting from me…
A young lady walking slowly while singing….
In the search of life, I have come so close to death
when I thought of this, I got nervous, where have I come
I was going on a journey, which had no destinations
What I did tried all my life, but was not successful
In search of one happiness, how many sorrows have writhed me
When I thought of this, I got scared, where have I ended up?