Written by CNN Staff
The number of women victims of violence around the world has risen 17% in the past two years, according to findings from the U.N.’s global Violence Against Women report.
The findings were compiled in a series of polls by the UN on the state of gender-based violence in 159 countries from July 2015 to July 2017.
Vetinary hospital in Würzburg, Germany, where the UN found the incidence of violent sex attacks almost doubled in just six years. Credit: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Specifically, there was a 79% increase in the percentage of women in the world who said they experienced domestic violence during that time period.
From 1984 to 1996, 40% of women said they had been a victim of some form of sexual violence — this figure had more than doubled by 2000 to 78%.
Physical violence also increased. In that period, 40% of women experienced “physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence” — a significant increase from the 20% figure recorded in the 1990s.
The prevalence of sexual violence was “particularly high” in Afghanistan, El Salvador, Iraq, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Papua New Guinea, Somalia, Bangladesh, Syria, South Sudan, Myanmar, Mali, Central African Republic, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Liberia, the report said.
“We’ve clearly been dealing with human rights abuse for a long time, and all of us — governments, service providers, activists, and the public at large — need to acknowledge that the situation is much, much worse than we knew a few years ago,” said Michelle Bachelet, the head of the U.N. Women agency.
This is not the first time the U.N. has spoken of heightened violence against women.
Marilyn Shannon, deputy director of U.N. Women, said last year: “The explosion of conflict over the past decade has necessitated the extraordinary efforts of women to raise their children and pursue an education and career even as attacks against them have become more severe.”