WHO warns of violence against women worldwide

(VOVWORLD) -Across their lifetime, 1 in 3 women, around 736 million, are subjected to physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner or sexual violence from a non-partner, according to a report by the World Health Organization published on Tuesday. 

This violence starts early: 1 in 4 young women (aged 15-24 years) who have been in a relationship will have already experienced violence by an intimate partner by the time they reach their mid-twenties.

The report based on data from 2000 to 2018 also shows that violence against women is increasingly widespread in low- and middle-income countries. An estimated 37% of women living in the poorest countries have experienced physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence in their life, with some of these countries having a prevalence as high as 1 in 2. 

The regions of Oceania, Southern Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa have the highest prevalence rates of intimate partner violence among women aged 15-49, ranging from 33% - 51%.  The lowest rates are found in Europe (16–23%), Central Asia (18%), Eastern Asia (20%) and South-Eastern Asia (21%), according to the WHO.

Experts found that the COVID-19 pandemic has increased rates of violence against women around the world due to lockdowns and reduced access to services and resources for victims.

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