One woman in three around the globe is a victim of domestic violence, according to a statement made by the World Health Organization on Thursday. Women in Asia and the Middle East are among the most affected in the world, while Japan is also mentioned among the high-income countries where violence is used against women.
The first such study on global data made by the UN agency says that 30 percent of the women worldwide were abused by their partners.
“These to me are shocking statistics,” said Flavia Bustreo, head of the WHO’s family, women’s and children’s health division.
“It is also shocking that this phenomenon cuts across the entire world,” she said.
Usually, victims refuse to make the abuse public, and the WHO is blaming taboos for this situation. Other reasons, according to the organization, include failings in medical and justice systems, and norms that mean men and women may see violence as acceptable.
81 countries were included in the study, with the highest scale of abuse being reported in Asia, where data from Bangladesh, East Timor, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand showed that 37.7 percent of women were affected.
Next was the Middle East, where prevalence averaged at 37 percent. Sub-Saharan Africa followed, with 36.6 percent, the international press reports.
An average of 23.2 percent were affected in a group of high-income countries including North America, the European Union, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.
“These data really show the tremendous toll violence has on the health of women,” said Claudia Garcia-Moren, a WHO specialist on gender, reproductive rights, sexual health and adolescence.
Globally, 38 percent of female murder victims were killed by their partners, WHO states.