THURSDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- The first major global
review of violence against women finds that nearly one in three
have been physically or sexually assaulted by a current or former
And another study, published June 20 in
The Lancet, finds that more than one-third of all female
murder victims worldwide are killed by an intimate partner, a new
"Our results underscore that women are disproportionately
vulnerable to violence and murder by an intimate partner, and their
needs have been neglected for far too long," the author of one
study , Dr. Heidi Stockl, from the London School of Hygiene &
Tropical Medicine, said in a journal news release.
Meanwhile, data released by the World Health Organization (WHO)
and others found that 30 percent of women experience physical or
sexual abuse by a partner, the
Associated Pressreported. WHO defined physical violence as
being slapped, pushed, punched, choked or being attacked using a
weapon. Sexual violence was defined as feeling physically or
mentally coerced into having sex and/or being compelled to engage
in sexual acts that felt humiliating or degrading.
The new numbers were based on data from 1983 to 2010 from 86
countries worldwide. Rates of domestic violence were highest in
Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia, the WHO found. The
United Nations says that more than 600 million women live in
countries where domestic violence is not considered a crime, the
In another study, researchers analyzed data on more than 492,000
murders in 66 countries over 20 years. They found that 13.5 percent
of murders are committed by an intimate partner, and that intimate
partners are responsible for 38.6 percent of all female murders,
compared with 6.3 percent of all male murders.
Nations with the highest rates of murder of women by intimate
partners include those in southeast Asia (about 59 percent), the
Americas (40.5 percent), and Africa (40 percent), as well as
high-income countries (about 41 percent).
A woman's greatest risk of murder comes from a current or former
intimate partner, and women are six times more likely to be killed
by an intimate partner than men, Stockl noted.
Rates of murder of men by intimate partners are highest in
high-income countries (6.3 percent), Africa (4 percent), and the
low-income and middle-income European region (3.6 percent). In all
other parts of the world, rates were lower than 2 percent.
The researchers said that a lack of data means that their
findings likely underestimate the true size of the problem.
"More needs to be done, particularly to increase investment in
intimate partner violence prevention, to support women experiencing
intimate partner violence [most women killed by a partner have been
in long-term abusive relationships], and to control gun ownership
for people with a history of violence," Stockl said.
The World Health Organization has more about
violence against women.