candle-flameResearchers recently turned to three authorities—The Advocates for Human Rights, Harvard University, and the United Nations—to shed more light on the worldwide epidemic of violence against women.

Entitled Legislation on violence against women: overview of key components (2013) and  published in Rev Panam Salud Publica, the study aimed to determine if legislation on violence against women worldwide contains key components recommended by the Pan American Health Organization and the United Nations in order to strengthen the prevention of this human rights abuse, as well as to better integrate victim protection, support, and care.

The researchers collected the data using three international legal databases: The Advocate’s website, StopVAW!,org, Harvard University’s Annual Review of Population Law, and the UN Secretary General’s Database on Violence Against Women.

“Given the challenges in compiling legal documents from countries/territories worldwide, these databases proved to be extremely valuable tools and provided a rich supply of current, reliable, and comprehensive information on a topic with a relatively limited research base,” the researchers stated.

StopVAW!.org provides a forum for information, advocacy and change in the promotion of women’s human rights around the world.

About 35% of women around the globe have been physically or sexually abused, according the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recently released landmark global study on the impact of physical and mental abuse on women and girls. The study reveals that violence against women is “extremely common” and “a global health problem of epidemic proportions.” Even given the report’s staggering results, researchers warn that the findings, as a consequence of under-reporting, may fall short of the estimate of the prevalence of abuse.

WHO’s study also indicated that 80% of reported violence occurred within the home at the hands of a spouse or partner. Thirty-eight percent of all women murdered globally were killed by their partners and 42% of abused women had injuries as a result of the violence perpetrated against them, according to the study, which also reported that 6% of murdered men were killed by their partners.

By: Susan Banovetz, communications director for The Advocates for Human Rights
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