WHO report highlights violence against women as a ‘glo

FYI. Important new docume=
nt. The infographics that accompany the link are especially well done snaps=
hots of the consequences of GBV=85such snapshots may be especially
good for classroom use.  — CF


HIVAPCoP <mail@hivapcop.org>

Subject: [HIV-APCoP] WHO report hi=
ghlights violence against women as a =91global health problem of epidemic p=

June 24, 2013 10:33:17 AM GMT+07:00


HIVAPCoP <mail@hivapcop.org>



[Dear HIV-APCoP memb=
ers, please find below a WHO news release for their new report on violence =
against women (VAW). The report, which represents the first
systematic study of global data on the prevalence of VAW, finds that an as=
tonishing 35% of all women will experience either intimate partner or non-p=
artner violence. The report and accompanying infographics can be downloaded=

New clinical and policy=
guidelines launched to guide health sector response

News release=

JUNE 2013 | GENEVA –
 Physical or =
sexual violence is a public health problem that affects more than one third=
of all women globally, according to a new report released
by WHO in partnership with the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Med=
icine and the South African Medical Research Council.

The report, Global
and regional estimates of violence against women: Prevalence and health ef=
fects of intimate partner violence and non-partner sexual violence
, represents the first systematic study of global data on the preval=
ence of violence against women =96
both by partners and non-partners. Some 35% of all women will experience e=
ither intimate partner or non-partner violence. The study finds that intima=
te partner violence is the most common type of violence against women, affe=
cting 30% of women worldwide.

The study highlights the need =
for all sectors to engage in eliminating tolerance for violence against wom=
en and better support for women who experience it. New WHO
guidelines, launched with the report, aim to help countries improve their =
health sector=92s capacity to respond to violence against women.=

Impact on physical and=
mental health

The report details the impact =
of violence on the physical and mental health of women and girls. This can =
range from broken bones to pregnancy-related complications,
mental problems and impaired social functioning.

=93These findings send a power=
ful message that violence against women is a global health problem of epide=
mic proportions,=94 said Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General,
WHO. =93We also see that the world=92s health systems can and must do more=
for women who experience violence.=94

The report=92s key findings on=
the health impacts of violence by an intimate partner were:

Death and injury =96=
The study found that globally, 38% of all women who were murdered were mur=
dered by
their intimate partners, and 42% of women who have experienced physical or=
sexual violence at the hands of a partner had experienced injuries as a re=

Depression =96 Partn=
er violence is a major contributor to women=92s mental health problems, wit=
h women who
have experienced partner violence being almost twice as likely to experien=
ce depression compared to women who have not experienced any violence.=

Alcohol use problems =96 Women experiencing intimate partner violence are almost twice as like=
ly as other
women to have alcohol-use problems.

Sexually transmitted infections =96 Women who experience physical and/or sexual partner violenc=
e are 1.5
times more likely to acquire syphilis infection, chlamydia, or gonorrhoea.=
In some regions (including sub-Saharan Africa), they are 1.5 times more li=
kely to acquire HIV.
Unwanted pregnancy and abortion =96 Both partner violence and non-partner sexual violence are a=
with unwanted pregnancy; the report found that women experiencing physical=
and/or sexual partner violence are twice as likely to have an abortion tha=
n women who do not experience this violence.

Low birth-weight babies&n=
bsp;=96 Women who experience partner violence have a 16% greater chance of =
having a
low birth-weight baby.

=93This new data shows that vi=
olence against women is extremely common. We urgently need to invest in pre=
vention to address the underlying causes of this global women=92s
health problem.=94 said Professor Charlotte Watts, from the London School =
of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

Need for better report=
ing and more attention to prevention

Fear of stigma prevents many w=
omen from reporting non-partner sexual violence. Other barriers to data col=
lection include the fact that fewer countries collect this
data than information about intimate partner violence, and that many surve=
ys of this type of violence employ less sophisticated measurement approache=
s than those used in monitoring intimate partner violence.

=93The review brings to light =
the lack of data on sexual violence by perpetrators other than partners, in=
cluding in conflict-affected settings,=94 said Dr Naeemah Abrahams
from the SAMRC. =93We need more countries to measure sexual violence and t=
o use the best survey instruments available.=94

In spite of these obstacles, t=
he review found that 7.2% of women globally had reported non-partner sexual=
violence. As a result of this violence, they were 2.3 times
more likely to have alcohol disorders and 2.6 times more likely to suffer =
depression or anxiety =96 slightly more than women experiencing intimate pa=
rtner violence.

The report calls for a major s=
caling up of global efforts to prevent all kinds of violence against women =
by addressing the social and cultural factors behind it.

Recommendations to the=
health sector

The report also emphasizes the=
urgent need for better care for women who have experienced violence. These=
women often seek health-care, without necessarily disclosing
the cause of their injuries or ill-health.

=93The report findings show th=
at violence greatly increases women=92s vulnerability to a range of short- =
and long-term health problems; it highlights the need for the
health sector to take violence against women more seriously,=94 said Dr Cl=
audia Garcia-Moreno of WHO. =93In many cases this is because health workers=
simply do not know how to respond.=94

New WHO clinical and policy gu=
idelines released today aim to address this lack of knowledge. They stress =
the importance of training all levels of health workers
to recognize when women may be at risk of partner violence and to know how=
to provide an appropriate response.

They also point out that some =
health-care settings, such as antenatal services and HIV testing, may provi=
de opportunities to support survivors of violence, provided
certain minimum requirements are met.

Health providers have been trained how to ask about violence.
Standard operating procedures are in place.
Consultation takes place in a private setting.
Confidentiality is guaranteed.
A referral system is in place to ensure that women can access =
related services.

In the case of sexual assault, health care settings must be eq=
uipped to provide the comprehensive response women need =96 to address both=
physical and mental health consequences.

The report=92s authors stress =
the importance of using these guidelines to incorporate issues of violence =
into the medical and nursing curricula as well as during in-service

WHO will begin to work with co=
untries in South-East Asia to implement the new recommendations at the end =
of June. The Organization will partner with ministries of
health, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and sister United Nations ag=
encies to disseminate the guidelines, and support their adaptation and use.=

Notes to Editors:

In March 2013, Dr Chan joined =
the UN Secretary General and the heads of other UN entities in a call for z=
ero tolerance for violence against women at the Commission
on the Status of Women in New York. During the Sixty-sixth World Health As=
sembly in May 2013, seven governments – Belgium, India, Mexico, Netherlands=
, Norway, United States of America, and Zambia – declared violence against =
women and girls "a major global
public health, gender equality and human rights challenge, touching every =
country and every part of society" and proposed the issue should appea=
r on the agenda of the Sixty-seventh World Health Assembly.

For more information p=
lease contact:

Fad=E9la Chaib
Telephone: +41 22 791 3228
Mobile: +41 79 475 5556
E-mail: chaibf@who.int

Jenny Orton/Katie Steels
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine 
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7927 2802
E-mail: press@lshtm.ac.uk

Keletso Ratsela
South African Medical Research Council
Telephone: +27 12 339 8500, +27 82 804 8883
E-mail: Keletso.Ratsela@m=

About the report

The report was developed by WH=
O, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the South Afric=
an Medical Research Council. It is the first systematic review
and synthesis of the body of scientific data on the prevalence of two form=
s of violence against women =96 violence by an intimate partner and sexual =
violence by someone other than an intimate partner. It shows for the first =
time, aggregated global and regional
prevalence estimates of these two forms of violence, generated using popul=
ation data from all over the world that have been compiled in a systematic =
way. The report documents the effects of violence on women=92s physical, me=
ntal, sexual and reproductive health.
This was based on systematic reviews looking at data on the association be=
tween the different forms of violence considered and specific health outcom=

Regional data

The report represents data reg=
ionally according to WHO regions*.

For intimate partner violence,=
the type of violence against women for which more data were available, the=
worst affected regions were:

South-East Asia – 37.7% prevalence. Based on aggregated data f=
rom Bangladesh, Timor-Leste (East Timor), India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thaila=

Eastern Mediterranean – 37% prevalence. Based on aggregated da=
ta from Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Palestine.

Africa =96 36.6% prevalence. Based on aggregated data from Bot=
swana, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Li=
beria, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa,
Swaziland, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

For combined intimate partner =
and non-partner sexual violence or both among all women of 15 years or olde=
r, prevalence rates were as follows:

Africa =96 45.6%
Americas =96 36.1%
Eastern Mediterranean =96 36.4%* (No data were available for n=
on-partner sexual violence in this region)

Europe =96 27.2%
South-East Asia =96 40.2%
Western Pacific =96 27.9%
High income countries =96 32.7%


Source: WHO

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