The World's Women 2010: Trends and Statistics


Chapter 6 - Violence against women

Key findings

Violence against women is a universal phenomenon.
Women are subjected to different forms of violence – physical, sexual, psychological and economic – both within and outside their homes.
Rates of women experiencing physical violence at least once in their lifetime vary from several per cent to over 59 per cent depending on where they live.
Current statistical measurements of violence against women provide a limited source of information, and statistical definitions and classifications require more work and harmonization at the international level.
Female genital mutilation – the most harmful mass perpetuation of violence against women – shows a slight decline.
In many regions of the world longstanding customs put considerable pressure on women to accept abuse.

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Selected visual statistics (Click on the graph to enlarge)

Figure 6.1

Source: Compiled by the United Nations Statistics Division from national and international surveys on violence against women.

Note: Statistics on physical violence against women in the last 12 months were not available for all the countries. Data for India and Cambodia refer to ever-partnered women. Data for Finland refer to at least one form of violence or threat.

Figure 6.7

Source: Population Reference Bureau, Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting: Data and Trends (2008); and UNICEF, Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting: A Statistical Exploration (2005).