Study shows extent of problem of domestic abuse against women

A global study of intimate partner violence by men against women has found that more than a quarter of all women and girls under 50 who have been in a partnership with a man have experienced domestic abuse.

The study, published yesterday in the medical journal The Lancet, analysed a database of 366 studies on the subject conducted between 2000 and 2018, capturing the responses of 2 million women from 161 countries and areas, covering 90% of the global population of women and girls.

The study found that of all women and girls aged between 15 and 49 who have had a partnership with a man, 27% have experienced physical or sexual intimate partner violence in their lifetime, with 13% experiencing it in the past year before they were surveyed.

The study also found that violence starts early, affecting adolescent girls and young women, with 24% of women aged 15–19 years and 26% of women aged 19–24 years having already experienced this violence at least once since the age of 15 years.

And researchers pointed out that all estimates in the study are based on women’s self-reported experiences of being subjected to intimate partner violence. They say that given the sensitive nature of the issue, the true prevalence of physical or sexual, or both, intimate partner violence is likely to be higher.

The study did say that regional variations exist, with low-income countries reporting higher lifetime and, even more pronouncedly, higher past year prevalence, compared with high-income countries.

The study states: “These findings show that intimate partner violence against women was already highly prevalent across the globe before the COVID-19 pandemic. Governments are not on track to meet … targets on the elimination of violence against women and girls, despite robust evidence that intimate partner violence can be prevented. There is an urgent need to invest in effective multisectoral interventions, strengthen the public health response to intimate partner violence, and ensure it is addressed in post-COVID-19 reconstruction efforts.”

If you are a victim of domestic abuse it is essential that you seek expert legal advice, at the earliest possible stage. We can find you an expert that works with you on our digital platform. For more information, call us on 020 3904 0506, or click here, and fill in the form.

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Image: Public Domain, via Piqsels