Violence against Women: The Scale of the Crisis

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A global crisis

Around the world, the most dangerous place for a woman is her own home.

Over 30% of women have experienced physical or sexual violence by their boyfriend or husband.

South East Asia has the highest level of violence against women in the world: 37.7% of women - nearly 4 in 10 - have experienced violence.

  • In Europe, 1 in 3 women have experienced some form of physical or sexual abuse since the age of 15 and 22% of women currently in a relationship are experiencing violence.
  • In Asia and the Pacific, 1 in every 2 men who have had a female partner admit to perpetrating violence, and 1 in every 4 men admit to raping a woman or girl.
  • Perpetrators are rarely held to account

  • While domestic violence is outlawed in 125 countries, 603 million women still live in countries where it is not considered a crime.
  • Over 70% of perpetrators of violence experience no legal sanction.
  • Violence against unborn and infant girls is rising

  • It is estimated that there are 163 million ‘missing’ girls in Asia due to 30 years of female infanticide and feticide (termination of a female foetus). That is greater than the population of Russia.
  • Women and girls make up 75% of people trafficked across national borders annually, with the majority – 79% - trafficked for sexual exploitation.
  • According to 2011 census data, India has 37 million more men than women. In China in 2005, males under the age of 20 exceeded females by more than 32 million. Added together, the total additional men is bigger than the entire population of the UK or France.
  • School-age girls remain at risk

  • Worldwide, up to 50% of sexual assaults are committed against girls under 16 years old.
  • Every year alone, 60 million girls are sexually assaulted either at school or going to and from school.
  • Economic costs of violence are immense

  • The World Bank estimates that intimate partner violence costs the same as the amount spent on primary education by most developing countries.
  • The European Added Value Assessment estimated that the annual cost of violence in the EU was €228 billion ($400 billion) in 2011.
  • In Egypt, NGOs estimate that the cost of violence against women and girls is more than 785 million Egyptian pounds ($112 million) per year.
  • Market failure: The world's resources are still not getting to women

    View our full Infographic on Violence against Women: A Global Crisis. A New Approach .

    Sources: World Health Organisation, UN Women, UNODC, EUAFR, World Bank, Indonesian Commission of Violence against Women, UK Ministry of Justice, Oxfam, AWID, Intel, GSMA.