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According to the report Global and Regional Estimates of Violence against Women: Prevalence and Health Effects of Intimate Partner Violence and Non-partner Sexual Violence (2013), prepared by WHO, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and South African Medical Research Council (please click here to access the report):  

• Overall, 35% of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence.

• Most of this violence is intimate partner violence. Worldwide, almost one third (30%) of all women who have been in a relationship have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by their intimate partner.

• Globally, as many as 38% of all murders of women are committed by intimate partners.

• Fear of stigma prevents many women from reporting non-partner sexual violence, the survey finds. Other barriers to data collection include the fact that fewer countries collect this data than information about intimate partner violence, and that many surveys of this type of violence employ less sophisticated measurement approaches than those used in monitoring intimate partner violence.

• Women who have been physically or sexually abused by their partners report higher rates of a number of important health problems. For example, they are 16% more likely to have a low-birth-weight baby. They are more than twice as likely to have an abortion, almost twice as likely to experience depression, and, in some regions, are 1.5 times more likely to acquire HIV, as compared to women who have not experienced partner violence.

• Of the studies of incident HIV (human immunodeficiency virus)/ STI (sexually transmitted infection), the three large studies (58–60) ( > 1000 participants) (two on HIV from sub-Saharan Africa and one on STI from India) found an increased risk of HIV/ STI among those reporting partner violence. Larger and more representative cohort studies from Africa and India show an association between experience of intimate partner violence and biologically confirmed incident HIV/other STIs.

• Globally, 7% of women have been sexually assaulted by someone other than a partner.

• There are fewer data available on the health effects of non-partner sexual violence. However, the evidence that does exist reveals that women who have experienced this form of violence are 2.3 times more likely to have alcohol use disorders and 2.6 times more likely to experience depression or anxiety.

Rural Expert

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