Over their lifetimes, one in three women in the world experience violence at the hands of an intimate partner. This disturbing number is the result of research carried out by the U.N. Women entity. According to the release, the experience of violence from a partner already affects one in four women between the ages of 14 and 25 years old.
In Melanesia, the number was even as high as one in two women. The highest rates of physical abuse by a partner were recorded in Oceania, followed by Southern Asia and Africa. The least developed countries combined score just a bit above the average at 39 percent, however.
According to the U.N., partner violence affects 641 million women globally, making it the most common type of violence affecting women. Only six percent of women globally report being sexually assaulted by someone other than their partner. While only 20 percent of the world’s murder victims are women, a majority of them are killed by a partner, former partner or family member.
“Violence against women is endemic in every country and culture, causing harm to millions of women and their families, and has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus commented. The report identified inequality as a risk factor for violence against women and urged countries to take systemic approach to the problem, embedding safeguards into their institutions, laws and policies.