One in three women suffers violence, global study finds WHO research reveals shocking extent of attacks on women, the vast majority of which are carried out by male partners More than a third of all women worldwide – 35.6% – will experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, usually from a male partner, according to the first comprehensive study of its kind from the World Health Organisation (WHO). The report reveals the shocking extent of attacks on women from the men with whom they share their lives, with 30% of women being attacked by partners. It also finds that a large proportion of murders of women – 38% – are carried out by intimate partners. "These findings send a powerful message that violence against women is a global health problem of epidemic proportions," said Dr Margaret Chan, director general of the WHO. "We also see that the world's health systems can and must do more for women who experience violence." The highest levels of violence against women are in Africa, where nearly half of all women – 45.6% – will suffer physical or sexual violence. In low- and middle-income Europe, the proportion is 27.2%. Yet wealthier nations are not necessarily always safer for women – a third of women in high-income countries (32.7%) will experience violence at some stage in their life. Of the women who suffer violence, 42% sustain injuries, which can bring them to the attention of healthcare staff. That, says the report, is often the first opportunity for violence in the home to be detected and for the woman to be offered help. Across the 28 States of the European Union, a little over one in five women has experienced physical and/or sexual violence from a partner (European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, 2014). Femicide * In Guatemala, two women are murdered, on average, each day. * In India, 8,093 cases of dowry-related death were reported in 2007; an unknown number of murders of women and young girls were falsely labeled ‘suicides’ or ‘accidents’. * In Australia, Canada, Israel, South Africa and the United States, between 40 and 70 percent of female murder victims were killed by their intimate partners. * In the State of Chihuahua, Mexico, 66 percent of murders of women were committed by husbands, boyfriends or other family members. Violence and Young Women * Worldwide, up to 50 percent of sexual assaults are committed against girls under 16. * An estimated 150 million girls under the age of 18 suffered some form of sexual violence in 2002 alone. * The first sexual experience of some 30 percent of women was forced. The percentage is even higher among those who were under 15 at the time of their sexual initiation, with up to 45 percent reporting that the experience was forced. Harmful Practices * Approximately 130 million girls and women in the world have experienced female genital mutilation/cutting, with more than 3 million girls in Africa annually at risk of the practice. * Over 60 million girls worldwide are child brides, married before the age of 18, primarily in South Asia (31.3 million) and sub-Saharan Africa (14.1 million). Violence and abuse characterize married life for many of these girls. Women who marry early are more likely to be beaten or threatened, and more likely to believe that a husband might sometimes be justified in beating his wife. Trafficking * Women and girls are 80 percent of the estimated 800,000 people trafficked across national borders annually, with the majority (79 percent) trafficked for sexual exploitation. Within countries, many more women and girls are trafficked, often for purposes of sexual exploitation or domestic servitude. * One study in Europe found that 60 percent of trafficked women had experienced physical and/or sexual violence before being trafficked, pointing to gender-based violence as a push factor in the trafficking of women. Sexual Harassment * Between 40 and 50 percent of women in European Union countries experience unwanted sexual advances, physical contact or other forms of sexual harassment at work. * Across Asia, studies in Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines and South Korea show that 30 to 40 percent of women suffer workplace sexual harassment. * In Nairobi, 20 percent of women have been sexually harassed at work or school. * In the United States, 83 percent of girls aged 12 to 16 experienced some form of sexual harassment in public schools. However, the best way to end violence against women and girls is to prevent it from happening in the first place by addressing its root and structural causes. Prevention should start early in life, by educating and working with young boys and girls promoting respectful relationships and gender equality. Working with youth is a “best bet” for faster, sustained progress on preventing and eradicating gender-based violence. While public policies and interventions often overlook this stage of life, it is a critical time when values and norms around gender equality are forged. Educational programs to prevent violence against women will only be successful if young people are equipped with the capacity to distinguish between the local culture that deeply influences their beliefs and a new set of beliefs that are more aligned with a culture of non-violence and respect for the intrinsic value and personhood of girls and women. The transmission of these new values will most importantly require the education of educators - teaching the teachers. What is key here is the spirit of the undertaking in introducing a new culture: at no moment should the new teaching use instruments of repression or authority as these will be ineffective in producing any meaningful change. Rather, the movement to introduce the new values and culture should be compassionate, rights-based and participative. Emphasis must be placed on the enormous benefit to the entire society deriving from men and women sharing responsibilities, growing collectively and showing mutual respect. The dual strategy of setting the stage first and implementing an action plan at the educational level, will give at least a minimum of chance to generate a new culture based on new values. Starting from ourselves we will change the world together. Right views, values and affirmations will root out this ramping violence all over the world. Women are not to suffer, they are created to lead a harmonic life and provide a link with nature and its powers. Helping others we help ourselves. Join us at http://myfieldoflove.com/join-us/ and become a part of us. Together we will be stronger and will make it.