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In the words of the WHO’s Director-General Margaret Chan, violence against women was “a global health problem of epidemic proportions”.
The report, Global and regional estimates of violence against women: Prevalence and health effects of intimate partner violence and non-partner sexual violence, was prepared by the WHO in partnership with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the South African Medical Research Council. For the first time, researchers from the three organisations looked at violence towards women by their partners and by non-partners across the globe.
The report found that violence from an intimate partner was the most common form of abuse, affecting 30% of women worldwide, whilst 38% of all women murdered were killed by their partners.
As well as revealing the high levels of domestic abuse suffered by women across the globe and impact that abuse has on the physical and mental well-being of those women and girls who were affected. These effects included physical injuries, with 42% of women who had suffered physical or sexual abuse having some form of injury.
Psychological problems were also more common amongst women had been victims of abuse, with levels of depression and anxiety 2.6 times higher in women who had suffered abuse from a non-partner and those abused by a partner twice as likely to suffer from similar psychological problems.
The authors of the report urged health officials across the globe to take the issue of violence against women more seriously and to take steps to better train health workers to recognise when a woman may be at risk of violence.
At Canter Levin & Berg Solicitors, we have helped many people, both male and female, who have suffered domestic abuse or threats of abuse. It is important to note that Legal Aid Funding is available for many people who need legal advice in situations where they have been the victim of domestic violence.
Our solicitors can help you when it comes to taking legal steps to safeguard you, your children or any other family members affected by abuse. We can provide you with legal advice as well as taking practical steps such as making applications for injunctions such as non-molestation order or an occupation order.
In the words of Partner and Family Law Solicitor Hazel Roberts: "The findings revealed in this report are shocking, as a solicitor working with domestic violence cases, I have seen for myself the horrendous impact that domestic violence can have on women and their families. Luckily in this country there are lots of protective measures that can be taken to ensure the safety of families. Thankfully, even those of financial hardship remain entitled to legal advice with the support of Legal Aid”.