Violence against Women, the pandemic issue
Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word pandemia as some issue (a disease in most of the cases) that occurs “over a wide geographic area and affecting an exceptionally high proportion of the population.”
Most widespread epidemics in the history of the planet, such as Cholera, Bubonic plague or AIDS, have been defined as pandemics. Now, UN Women adds a new issue to the list of global pandemics: the violence against women.
“Whether at home, on the streets or during war, violence against women is a global pandemic that takes places in public and private spaces,” said the organization.
According to UN Women statistics, 1 in 3 women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual abuse — it is difficult to record the third and more silent form of abuse, psychological abuse. And in 2012, 1 in 2 women killed worldwide were killed by their partners or family.
Statistics also prove that violence against women is a worldwide issue that affects women no matter their economic or social status, their level of education or the country they live in.
The U.S. is no exception. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence release some interesting statistics regarding domestic violence in the country (more info here):
- Every 9 seconds in the US, a woman is assaulted or beaten.
- On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equals more than 10 million women and men.
- 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of [some form of] physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime.
- 1 in 5 women and 1 in 7 men have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
- On a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.
- Women between the ages of 18-24 are most commonly abused by an intimate partner.
- 19 percent of domestic violence involves a weapon.
As for rape and stalking, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men in the United States has been raped in their lifetime. Additionally 19.3 million women and 5.1 million men in the United States have been stalked in their lifetime.
Violence against women in the world (UN Women statistics)
- 35 percent of women and girls globally experience some form of physical and or sexual violence in their lifetime with up to seven in ten women facing this abuse in some countries.
- An estimated 133 million girls and women have experienced some form of female genital mutilation/cutting in the 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East where the practice is most common.
- Worldwide, more than 700 million women alive today were married as children, 250 million of whom were married before the age of 15. Girls who marry before the age of 18 are less likely to complete their education and more likely to experience domestic violence and complications in childbirth.
- The costs and consequence of violence against women last for generations.
Violence against women in Latin America
According to latest ECLAC’s Gender Equality Observatory for Latin America and the Caribbean, at least 1,678 women lost their lives for gender reasons in 2014 in 14 Latin American and three Caribbean countries.
Currently 20 Latin American and Caribbean countries have laws on violence against women and 14 of the region’s countries have penalized the crime of femicide — Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Peru.
Argentina and Venezuela have introduced the concept of aggravated murder for gender reasons into their legislation; while there is only one country in the region that has passed a law against harassment and political violence (Bolivia), Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico and Peru are on the process.
Violence against women, especially domestic violence, is considered a huge problem in Spain, where in 2015, 48 women were killed by their counterparts and there are three more cases under investigation.
November 25 marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and to raise awareness most famous monuments and buildings in the world were and will be lit in orange.