The most comprehensive review to date of violence against women worldwide finds that domestic abuse is "shockingly" common, in the words of one of the researchers. Specifically, about one-third of women have been physically or sexually abused by a partner, concludes the WHO analysis. Some of the findings, from NPR and the AP:
- Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia have the highest rate of abuse at 37%, followed by Latin and South America (30%), Europe and Asia (25%), and North America (23%).
- When a women is murdered, the killer is her spouse or partner nearly 40% of the time. (By contrast, the figure is 6% for men.)
- Abused women are twice as likely to suffer from depression or alcoholism, and 1.5 times more likely to have an STD.
- "There is no magic bullet, no vaccine or pill" to fix this, says a WHO physician. "But what we hear from women is that oftentimes, just having an empathetic listener who can provide some practical support and help her get access to some other services—that in itself is an important intervention."