Violence against women: bruises of a global shame exposed


violence is not our cultureThe first international study of the prevalence of physical and sexual assaults shows a third of women worldwide have suffered beatings or worse in their daily lives.

According to The National, Dr Margaret Chan, director general of the WHO, said the findings needed to be taken seriously and they sent “a powerful message that violence against women is a global health problem of epidemic proportions”.

It is the first time estimates have been released based on population data from such a wide spectrum of countries.

And even countries that did not supply data for the study needed to eliminate their tolerance for abuse of women and improve their methods of tackling it, the report says.

“The findings send a powerful message that violence against women is not a small problem that only occurs in some pockets of society, but is a global public health problem of epidemic proportions, requiring urgent action,” it states.


Violence takes it toll in many ways, the report shows. Women who experienced what it calls “intimate-partner violence” have higher rates of depression, HIV, injury and death, and are more likely to have babies with low birth weights than those who are free of violence.


This article has been edited on 5 July 2017.


Do you recognise abuse when you see it?

[two_third] This Is Abuse is a UK campaign that raises awareness among youth about the issues of relationship abuse. It looks at the forms abuse can take including non-violent forms which are often not recognised as abusive.

The campaign includes lots of videos depicting situations of abuse in order to bring focus to these behaviours.

The aim of the campaign is to prevent teenagers and young adults from becoming victims and perpetrators of domestic abuse.

The website points out that: ‘Abuse is not normal and never OK. -“If you are in a relationship with someone, you should feel loved, safe, respected and free to be yourself.

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[two_third] Spot the Signs
The site is full of great resource to encourage open and honest conversation about the nature of abuse and healthy relationships.


In a healthy relationship both partners treat each other with respect. Answer the following questions honestly to work out if your partner treats you with the respect you deserve.

Your partner:

  • Is willing to compromise
  • Lets you feel comfortable being yourself
  • Is able to admit to being wrong
  • Is not jealous or possessive
  • Does not try to control what you wear, where you go or what you do
  • Does not physically hurt you
  • Does not emotionally hurt you (by calling you names, threatening you, making you feel bad)
  • Tries to resolve arguments and conflict by talking honestly
  • Enables you to feel safe being with them
  • Respects your feelings, your opinions and your friends
  • Accepts you saying no to things you don’t want to do (like sex)
  • Accepts you changing your mind
  • Respects your wishes if you want to end the relationship