Posted by on July 11, 2013 - 2:10pm

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently released a report on the global prevalence and impact of violence against women, and found it to be a “global health problem of epidemic proportions.” The report includes data on violence against women by intimate partners and sexual violence against women by non-partners. The report also examines the effect violence has on other aspects of women’s health.

By studying data from across the world, WHO researchers found that about 35% of all women will experience violence in their lives from either intimate partners or non-partners. Violence inflicted by intimate partners is more prevalent worldwide, with 30% of women affected.

In addition to injury and death, violence against women results in other physical and mental problems. For example, women who have undergone partner violence are almost twice as likely to experience depression or have an alcohol-use problem than women who have not been subject to violence. Additionally, women who experience violence are more likely to acquire a sexually transmitted disease, have an unwanted pregnancy, and receive an abortion. Violence against women also affects the next generation, as studies show women who experience violence are 16% more likely to have a low birth-weight baby. Click here for additional statistics.

The report points out that steps need to be taken throughout the world to prevent future violence against women, but also improve the treatment of women who have already experienced violence. Dr Claudia Garcia-Moreno of the WHO states that “violence greatly increases women’s vulnerability to a range of short- and long-term health problems; [the report] highlights the need for the health sector to take violence against women more seriously,” and that many healthcare workers don’t know how to respond to cases of violence. However, to make a significant change, the social and cultural factors behind violence against women must be addressed.

Source: "WHO report highlights violence against women as 'global health problem of epidemic proportions." WHO Media Centre. 20 June 2013.

Posted by on February 1, 2013 - 10:03am

The majority of women who reported experiencing sexual violence, regardless of their sexual orientation, reported that they were victimized by male perpetrators.
Nearly half of female bisexual victims (48.2 percent) and more than one-quarter of female heterosexual victims (28.3 percent) experienced their first rape between the ages of 11 and 17 years.

Bisexual women (61.1%) reported a significantly higher lifetime prevalence of rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner when compared to both lesbian (43.8%) and heterosexual women (35.0%).

On January 25, 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the first of its kind report on the national prevalence of intimate partner violence, sexual violence and stalking victimization by respondents’ sexual orientation. This report highlights the prevalence of intimate partner violence (IPV), sexual violence (SV), and stalking of respondents who self-identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual at the time of the survey and describe violence experienced with both same-sex and opposite-sex partners, using 2010 data from the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS).

The findings in the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey 2010 Findings on Victimization by Sexual Orientation Report underscore the importance of prevention efforts. NISVS provides data that can help inform policies and programs aimed at the specific needs of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual (LGB) communities, state and national organizations, and also a way to monitor and measure these efforts. The combined efforts of public health, criminal justice, service providers, and other stakeholders can improve our knowledge about IPV, SV, and stalking in LGB communities and improve the availability of prevention programs and services for those affected by violence.

More information:   Access the report