Violence Against Women and Girls – The Facts
Violence against women and girls is one of the most systematic and widespread human rights violations. It is rooted in gendered social structures rather than individual and random acts; it cuts across age, socio-economic, educational and geographic boundaries; affects all societies; and is a major obstacle to ending gender inequality and discrimination globally. (UN General Assembly, 2006)
The UN definition describes violence against women as:
‘any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life’.
Violence against women is violence directed at women and girls because they are women or girls, or is experienced disproportionately by women and girls as a group. It is a cause and consequence of inequality between women and men, a violation of human rights, and a result of an abuse of power and control.
What Does Violence Against Women Include?
Violence against women includes:
- domestic abuse
- rape and sexual violence
- forced marriage
- so-called honour-based violence
- female genital mutilation (FGM)
- trafficking and sexual exploitation including through the sex industry; and sexual harassment in work and public life.
These forms of violence and abuse are predominately experienced by women and girls, and perpetrated by men, however, men and boys can also be victims and women can also be perpetrators.
Violence Against Women Statistics
Here are some frightening statistics relating to violence against women:
- According to the Office for National Statistics, in the year ending March 2019, an estimated 2.4 million adults aged 16 to 74 years experienced domestic abuse in the last year (1.6 million women and 786,000 men).
- For the year ending March 2016 to the year ending March 2018, 74% of victims of domestic homicide (homicide by an ex/partner or family member) were female. This contrasts with non-domestic homicides where the majority of victims were male (87%).
- The overwhelming majority of female domestic homicide victims are killed by men; of the 270 female victims of domestic homicide for the year ending March 2016 to the year ending March 2018, the suspect was male in 260 cases.
- In 218 of the 270 female domestic homicide cases between the year ending March 2016 and the year ending March 2018, the suspect was a partner or ex-partner. 43 male victims were killed by a partner or ex-partner in the same time period.
- In the year ending March 2019, the majority of defendants in domestic abuse-related prosecutions were men (92%), and the majority of victims were female (75%). 16% of victims were male and in 10% of cases the sex of the victim was not recorded.
Although not all violence against women occurs within a context of traditional power relations, perpetrators’ behaviour stems from a sense of entitlement supported by sexist, racist, disablist, homophobic and other discriminatory attitudes, behaviours and systems that maintain and reproduce inequality.
Support for Women & Children from Calan DVS
At Calan DVS we are committed to supporting women, men, girls and boys who experience violence and abuse; to challenging all those who perpetrate violence and abuse, and to preventing it from happening in the first place. We advocate a gender-responsive and trauma informed response, which is needs-led, strengths-based and enables survivors achieve independence and freedom.
Anyone affected by these forms of violence and abuse should be able to access help and support when they need it and every case should be taken seriously.
The Live Fear Free Helpline is a 24-hour helpline for women, children and men experiencing domestic abuse, sexual violence or other forms of violence against women on 0808 80 10 800.
You can also contact one of our specialist support team on the numbers below: