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Violence Against Women

In 2011, the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence defined violence against women as “a violation of human rights and a form of discrimination against women and shall mean all acts of gender-based violence that result in, or are likely to result in, physical, sexual, psychological, or economic harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.” 

The statistics on violence against women are stark.  In 2017, the World Health Organization estimated that “1 in 3 (35%) of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime.”  In the United States, in the Center for Disease Control reported that, as of 2012, one in five women had been raped; 37.4% of these victims were assaulted between the ages of 18 and 24 and 19% of undergraduate students who identify as women had been the victims of rape or attempted rape.  The numbers are even higher for transgender, genderqueer, and nonconforming (TGQN) college students; RAINN reported that 21% of TGQN students have been sexually assaulted, as compared to 18% of non-TGQN students.  In addition, the National Council Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) reported that “on average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States” and that “1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of [some form of] physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime.”

While the statistics are overwhelming, there are several organizations working diligently to support survivors as well as to educate abusers and end gender-based violence.  On the right side of this page, you’ll see a list of national organizations with which you can connect to learn more and take action.  There are also many terrific tools, programs, and resources available for survivors seeking assistance; for example, offers this guide to rebuilding one's financial health after leaving an abusive situation (they note in the article that financial abuse, while often overlooked, co-occurs in 99% of domestic violence cases).  Also, be sure to also do a search online, including on social media, to identify and partner with organizations doing work to address violence against women in your state or your community.

Ready to get started? Explore how you can get involved and learn about the many ways to take action.


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