Violence against women is a major human rights and public health problem world wide.
What is violence against women? Any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life. United Nations General Assembly. Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, 1993
Women face an epidemic of violence everyday. Amnesty International. Women, HIV/AIDS and Human Rights. 2004
Approximately 1 out of every 3 women globally is beaten, raped or otherwise abused during her lifetime. Heise, Lori, Mary Ellsberg, and Megan Gottemoeller. 1999 “Ending Violence Against Women” Population Reports, Volume XXVII, Number 4, Series L, Number 11.
In Latin America and the Caribbean, 7-69% of women have been physically abused by an intimate partner at some point in their lives. Heise, Lori, Mary Ellsberg, and Megan Gottemoeller. 1999 “Ending Violence Against Women” Population Reports, Volume XXVII, Number 4, Series L, Number 11.
The proportion of women who have suffered violence at the hands of her partner has been recorded at 11% in Colombia, 10% in Nicaragua, 17% in Haiti and 23% in Mexico and Peru. Encuestas de demografia y de la salud. Colombia, Nicaragua, Haiti, Mexico and Peru. PAHO. 1997-2000
According to the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, violence against women includes, but is not limited to:
Violence in the family Violence in the community Violence by the state
Violence in the family Battering by intimate partners Sexual abuse of female children Marital rape and sexual coercion Traditional practices harmful to women Abuse of domestic workers
Violence in the community Rape Sexual abuse Sexual harassment and assault at work and educational institutions, and elsewhere Trafficking Forced prostitution Forced labor
Violence by the state Violence perpetrated or condoned by the state, such as: Violence against women at the hands of police officers, soldiers, immigration officials, etc. Rape by government forces during armed conflict Torture in custody Forced sterilization