The social and economic costs of intimate partner and sexual violence are enormous and have ripple effects throughout society.
Women may suffer isolation, inability to work, loss of wages, lack of participation in regular activities and limited ability to care for themselves and their children.
Sexual violence is "any sexual act, attempt to obtain a sexual act, or other act directed against a person’s sexuality using coercion, by any person regardless of their relationship to the victim, in any setting.
It includes rape, defined as the physically forced or otherwise coerced penetration of the vulva or anus with a penis, other body part or object." Population-level surveys based on reports from victims provide the most accurate estimates of the prevalence of intimate partner violence and sexual violence in non-conflict settings.
The first report of the "WHO Multi-country study on women’s health and domestic violence against women" (2005) in 10 mainly low- and middle-income countries found that, among women aged 15-49: A more recent analysis of WHO with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Medical Research Council, based on existing data from over 80 countries, found that globally 35% of women have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence.
Most of this violence is intimate partner violence.
Worldwide, almost one-third (30%) of all women who have been in a relationship have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by their intimate partner, in some regions this is much higher.
Furthermore, globally as many as 38% of all murders of women are committed by intimate partners.Intimate partner and sexual violence are mostly perpetrated by men against women. International studies reveal that approximately 20% of women and 5–10% of men report being victims of sexual violence as children.Violence among young people, including dating violence, is also a major problem.Factors associated with intimate partner and sexual violence occur at individual, family, community and wider society levels.Some factors are associated with being a perpetrator of violence, some are associated with experiencing violence and some are associated with both.Intimate partner and sexual violence have serious short- and long-term physical, mental, sexual and reproductive health problems for survivors and for their children, and lead to high social and economic costs.