The FACTS: The Urgent Need for SAIV

FACT: According to WHO (World Health Organization), each year 40 million children under the age of 15 are victims of family abuse or neglect serious enough to require medical attention. (U.N. We the Children: Meeting the Promises of the World Summit for Children 2001, page 73).

FACT: National studies from 11 nations show that 5 to 48 percent of women report having been abused by an intimate partner at some point in their lives. Localized studies in Africa, Latin America, and Asia report higher rates of physical violence – up to 58 percent of women (U.N. The World’s Women 2000: Trends and Statistics, page 153).

FACT: According to the U.S. Department of Justice, between 1995 and 1996, more than 670,000 U. S. women were the victim of rape, attempted rape or sexual assault (National Crime Victimization Survey, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1997).

FACT: Rape has been used as a strategy in many conflicts including in Korea during the Second World War and in Bangladesh during the war of independence, as well as in a range of armed conflicts such as those in Algeria, India (Kashmir), Indonesia, Liberia, Rwanda, and Uganda (World Report on Violence and Health, 2002, World Health Organization, page 156).

FACT: Intimate violence is the single largest cause of injury to women in the U.S. (Violent Crimes Against Women, U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, 1993). In the United States, four million women a year are physically abused in intimate relationships (Commonwealth Fund’s First Comprehensive National Health Survey of American Women, 1993).

FACT: According to the WHO (World Health Organization) 2002 Report, about 20 percent of women and 5-10 percent of men have suffered sexual abuse as children ((World Report on Violence and Health, 2002, World Health Organization, Summary, page 16).

FACT: From 40 to 60 percent of known sexual assaults have been found to be committed against girls 15 and younger, regardless of region or culture . (U.N. The World’s Women 1995: Trends and Statistics, page 158).

FACT: Another form of family violence, selective female infanticide and medical neglect is also common in many world regions – and can be so severe that in India’s Punjab state, girls aged two to four die at nearly twice the rate of boys, and according to statistics released in 1995 (the year of the Fourth United Nations Conference on Women), deaths per year per thousand in Bangladesh were 15.7 for girls age one to four versus 14.2 for boys. In Pakistan, the ratio was 9.6 for girls versus 8.6 for boys. In Guatemala, it was 11.3 for girls versus 10.6 for boys. In Egypt, it was 6.6 versus 5.6. And even in Singapore, which at that time had a strong economy, the ratio was 0.5 for girls versus 0.4 for boys (1995 Human Development Report, page 35).

FACT: A huge number of girl children are enslaved (often offered for sale by members of their own families) in the global sex industry; for example, in Thailand, India, and the former Soviet Union. The United Nations estimates that two million girls between ages five and eleven are introduced into the commercial sex market each year (State of the World Population 1997).

FACT: A recent study estimated that 45,000 to 50,000 women and children are trafficked annually to the United States. Trafficking violations range from slavery or slavery-like treatment of victims to criminal exploitation of smuggled economic migrants...In Thailand, 20,000 to 30,000 Burmese women are working as prostitutes through such forms of trafficking as deceptive job placements, abduction, and the sale of girls from hill tribes (U.N. The World’s Women 2000: Trends and Statistics, page 158).

FACT: An estimated 100 to 132 million girls and women have been subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM) worldwide. Each year, an estimated 2 million more girls will undergo some form of female genital mutilation...In Egypt, 97 percent of women had undergone FGM according to a national study carried out by Demographic and Health Surveys in 1995. (U.N. The World’s Women 2000: Trends and Statistics, pages 159 -160).

FACT: In China and India, millions of baby girls are killed or abandoned. “Honor” killings result in the death of thousands of women in Middle Eastern and South Asian countries (Ending Violence Against Women: Human Rights in Action, 2003).

FACT: In the Republic of Korea, 67 percent of parents in a recent study admitted whipping their children to discipline them and 45 percent reported hitting, kicking, or beating them. A study in Ethiopia found that 21 percent of urban school children and 64 percent of rural school children reported bruises or swellings on their bodies from parental punishment (World Report on Violence and Health, 2002, World Health Organization, pages 81, 82).

FACT: Studies from Australia, Canada, Israel, South Africa and the United States show that 40 to 70 percent of female murder victims were killed by their husbands or boyfriends, frequently in the context of an ongoing abusive relationship (World Report on Violence and Health, 2002, World Health Organization, page 93).

FACT: Studies from Canada, Chile, Egypt, and Nicaragua have found that 6 to 15 percent of ever-partnered women have been physically or sexually abused during pregnancy, usually by their partners. In the United States, estimates of abuse during pregnancy range from 3 to 11 percent among adult women and up to 38 percent among low-income teenage mothers (World Report on Violence and Health, 2002, World Health Organization, page 101-102).

FACT: Studies in Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Indonesia, Nicaragua, Spain, the United States, and Venezuela all found that rates of abuse were higher among women whose husbands had either themselves been beaten as children of had witnessed their mothers being beaten (World Report on Violence and Health, 2002, World Health Organization, page 98).

FACT: Violence against women and children is the most pervasive violation of human rights in the world today. (Charlotte Bunch, UNICEF study, 1997).

Stopping intimate violence is foundational to a peaceful and equitable world


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