The report, drafted by the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners at the UN, found that domestic violence started at a young age.
About a quarter of 15- to 19-year-old girls and young women are estimated to have been abused at least once in their lives. The highest rate was found among the age group 30- 39 years.
When figures for non-partner violence are included, the WHO estimates that about one-third of women aged 15 and over experience some form of sexual or physical violence in their lifetime.
The study analyzed data on non-intimate and intimate relationships in 161 countries, between 2000 and 2018. It does not reflect the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on this phenomenon. Its believed that the incidence of violence and sexual assault against women and girls has increased since the start of the pandemic.
The WHO report focused on physical and sexual violence but noted that current levels would be much higher if other types of abuse were included, such as cyberbullying and sexual harassment.
Levels of violence were highest in low- and middle-income countries. South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa had some of the highest levels of intimate violence between women and girls aged 15 to 49 years.
“But unlike COVID-19, violence against women cannot be stopped with a vaccine. We can only fight it with ingrained and sustained efforts – by governments, communities, and individuals – to change harmful attitudes, improve access to opportunities and services for women and girls, and foster healthy, grassroots relationships. in mutual respect, “said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.
Dr. Claudia García-Moreno, who leads the WHO’s work on violence against women, said the figures should be an “alarm bell” for governments regarding the urgency of the situation.
“There is an urgent need to reduce the stigma surrounding this issue, to train health professionals to interview survivors with compassion, and to destroy the foundations of gender inequality,” she said.
Moreno also raised the need for comprehensive sex education, to also learn how to build healthy relationships, based on equality and mutual respect.
In Albania, 53% of women will experience at least one form of domestic violence at least once in their lives.