March 12, 2021


Violence against women has been at the forefront of the American media because of the sexual harassment allegations against Governor Cuomo of New York. The World Health Organization (WHO) determined a startling fact recently about women’s safety. According to the WHO, one in three women has experienced physical or sexual violence in their lifetimes.

The World Health Organization’s Report

The WHO released its latest report, which suggested that many women will face violence throughout their lives. One in three women have experienced some type of direct violence, and these numbers have stayed stable over the past decade.

The information in the study is based on the experience of women in 161 countries. It collected data on girls 15 and up between 2000 and 2018. The sample size in this study is massive, which is even more alarming because it shows this study’s accuracy.

It’s important to remember that this number could be even higher as of 2021. Since the study ended in 2018, it does not account for the COVID-19 pandemic. With couples locked up with each other for a year in some cases, it’s known that domestic violence spiked.

If this study took the pandemic into account, the ratio could be closer to 2 out of 3 for women who have experienced violence. The violence that women faced during the pandemic was labeled a “shadow pandemic” that went widely unnoticed because of the virus’s attention during the lockdowns.

A Shocking Prevalence of Violence

WHO Dr. Claudia Garcia-Moreno stated her opinions on the study after it was released. It needs to be addressed and limited globally. She also discussed that the WHO has the goal of doing another review about the pandemic’s impact on the experience of violence for women all over the world.

The most common type of violence from the WHO’s report was intimate partner violence. Intimate partner violence is extremely prevalent in other portions of the world outside of the United States, where it’s common for girls to get married in their late teen years.

One in four women has experienced physical or sexual violence by their intimate partner by age 19. Worldwide, 6% of women revealed that they had been sexually assaulted by a person who was not their significant other. Garcia-Moreno believes this number is higher because of the stigma around sexual assault. Women do not often report when they are sexually assaulted because of the fear of how it will be handled and judged by outsiders.

Not Equally Distributed

Even though this study looked at women worldwide, the violence is not equally distributed. Women with social and economic inequalities are more likely to experience abuse. These two risk factors are the leading determinants of areas where women experience a higher rate of violence.

22% of women in underdeveloped countries experience intimate partner violence which is more than the world average of 13%. This study revealed countless problems for women’s safety worldwide, and the World Health Organization is now actively trying to determine a solution to global violence.

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