As local advocates prepare for a “race to end domestic violence” this weekend, internationally the WHO has released a report indicating that 30 per cent of women in this region are affected by “intimate partner violence”.
Additionally, the joint WHO, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the South African Medical Research Council study showed that while between 41 per cent and 82 per cent of women in this region who were abused by their partner experienced a physical injury, between 28 per cent and 64 per cent did not seek help or speak to anyone about the experience.
A release from the Pan American Health Organisation today noted that physical or sexual violence was a public health problem that affected more than one-third of all women globally.
The report, Global and regional estimates of violence against women: Prevalence and health effects of intimate partner violence and non-partner sexual violence, represented the first systemic study of global data on the prevalence of violence against women – both partners and non-partners.
“Some 35 per cent of all women will experience either intimate partner or non-partner violence. The study finds that intimate partner violence is the most common type of violence against women, affecting 30 per cent of women worldwide.
“In the Americas, 29.8 per cent of women have been victims of physical or sexual violence at the hands of an intimate partner, and 10.7 per cent have suffered sexual violence by a non-partner,” the statement said.
The Americas, according to the study, refers to the Caribbean nations, including Barbados; Latin American states like Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela, Paraguay, etc.; the US and Canada .
Here in Barbados, the Rotaract Club of South Barbados, in association with SLAM 101.1 FM and BPW (Barbados) will host a 5K walk and run in the City on Olympic Day, June 23.
The race is an effort to raise awareness and gain support for the elimination of all forms of violence against women and children, with part proceeds going to the BPW’s shelter that provides temporary housing to women and children who are victims of domestic abuse. It has also attracted the support of calypsonians TC and Mikey, along with radio personality Alex Jordan who will participate for charity.
The WHO study highlighted the need for all sectors to engage in eliminating tolerance for violence against women and better support women who experience it and new WHO guidelines were launched with the report to help countries improve their health sector’s capacity to respond to this issue.
The release said a report published by PAHO/WHO in collaboration with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, showed that in 12 Latin American and Caribbean countries studied, between 17 per cent and 53 per cent of women interviewed reported having suffered physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner. In seven of the countries, more than one in four women reported such violence.
“The report, Violence Against Women in Latin America and the Caribbean: a comparative analysis of population-based data from 12 countries that was also part of the regional data for the WHO report, shows that between 41 per cent and 82 per cent of women who were abused by their partner experienced a physical injury, ranging from cuts and bruises to broken bones, miscarriages, and burns. Despite this, between 28 per cent and 64 per cent did not seek help or speak to anyone about their experience of violence.
“The comparative analysis also shows that between 10 per cent and 27 per cent of women in these countries reported having experienced sexual violence in their lifetime, either by partners or by other perpetrators, but usually by men whom they already knew.”
The report also highlighted the intersections between violence against women and violence against children. Across the 12 countries studied, women who were beaten in childhood reported experiencing partner violence in adulthood at significantly higher rates than those who did not suffer violence in childhood, said the release. (LB)