Global Health Observatory (GHO)

Intimate partner violence

Situation and trends

30% of ever partnered women globally have experienced physical or sexual violence by a partner in their lifetime. The rates of this violence vary between 23% and 47% percent in different regions of the world. Many countries, however, have no prevalence data available, showing that this field of research is still developing. The 2010 estimates presented here were calculated based on all available population-based studies that included questions on intimate partner violence. While intimate partner violence is a global public health issue, the rates of intimate partner violence are higher in societies that exhibit higher levels of gender inequality and greater acceptance of norms that support violence against women and male control over women. Countries need to address these underlying norms by establishing a legal framework and societal response that does not tolerate violence against women, while simultaneously engaging the health sector and other sectors of society to prevent and respond to violence. If women receive the services and support they need, and partner violence is not accepted, then the health effects for women and children can be mitigated, and societies as a whole can benefit.

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