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WHO Multi-Country Study on Women's Health and Domestic Violence Against Women: Summary Report of Initial Results on Prevalence, Health Outcomes and Women's Responses

NCJ Number
Date Published
40 pages
This landmark study by the World Health Organization documents the prevalence of violence against women by their intimate partners in 15 sites in 10 countries with diverse cultures, and data are presented on the health outcomes from such violence and women's responses.
The 10 countries involved in the study were Bangladesh, Brazil, Ethiopia, Japan, Peru, Namibia, Samoa, Serbia and Montenegro, Thailand, and the United Republic of Tanzania. The study found that the percentage of ever-partnered women in each setting who had ever experienced physical or sexual violence by a male partner ranged from 13 percent in Japan to 61 percent in provincial Peru. Japan also had the lowest level of sexual violence at 6 percent; the highest incidence was reported for Ethiopia at 59 percent. Although sexual violence was significantly less frequent than physical violence in most countries, it was more frequent in provincial Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and urban Thailand. Data are also provided on the various types of acts of physical and sexual violence, their severity, as well as the frequency of physical violence. In addition, the overlap between physical and sexual violence are discussed. Further, the study examined personal, family, and social factors that might protect a woman from violence or put her at greater risk. Data on emotional abuse were also collected, along with partners' controlling behaviors experienced by the women. Data on the health effects of partner abuse addressed injuries and other physical effects, mental health, and reproductive health. Data on how women victims of partner violence cope with and respond to their victimization are provided as well. Based on the study data, 15 recommendations for addressing intimate partner violence are offered. 16 figures and 29 references