I remember what it felt to be to be scared, to live in fear for your life everyday, to want to die at every moment. Despair and depression was an everyday emotion. Beaten and forced into submission, not allowed to express myself or have an opinion, no place for friends or allowed to go anywhere, a captive in my own home, and most of all not allowed to get a higher education. Asking people for assistance didn’t help either. My school teachers knew about the abuse and did nothing, my extended family knew about the abuse and did nothing. This is the epidemic of domestic violence. This is the epidemic of violence against women and children.
The statistics provided by the UN show the following:
- It is estimated that 35 per cent of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or sexual violence by a non-partner at some point in their lives. However, some national studies show that up to 70 per cent of women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime .
- Women who have been physically or sexually abused by their partners are more than twice as likely to have an abortion, almost twice as likely to experience depression, and in some regions, 1.5 times more likely to acquire HIV, as compared to women who have not experienced partner violence .
- More than 1 in 4 women in Washington DC, United States, have experienced some form of sexual harassment on public transportation, according to a survey conducted in 2016 .
- Worldwide, almost 750 million women and girls alive today were married before their 18thbirthday. Child marriage is more common in West and Central Africa, where over 4 in 10 girls were married before age 18, and about 1 in 7 were married or in union before age 15. Child marriage often results in early pregnancy and social isolation, interrupts schooling, limits the girl’s opportunities and increases her risk of experiencing domestic violence .
- Around 120 million girls worldwide (slightly more than 1 in 10) have experienced forced intercourse or other forced sexual acts at some point in their lives. By far the most common perpetrators of sexual violence against girls are current or former husbands, partners or boyfriends .
- At least 200 million women and girls alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in the 30 countries with representative data on prevalence. In most of these countries, the majority of girls were cut before age 5. .
- Adult women account for 51 per cent of all human trafficking victims detected globally. Women and girls together account for 71 per cent, with girls representing nearly three out of every four child trafficking victims. Nearly three out of every four trafficked women and girls are trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation .
- Twenty-three per cent of female undergraduate university students reported having experienced sexual assault or sexual misconduct in a survey across 27 universities in the United States in 2015. Rates of reporting to campus officials, law enforcement or others ranged from 5 to 28 per cent, depending on the specific type of behavior .
- Eighty-two per cent of women parliamentarians who participated in a study conducted by the Inter-parliamentary Union in 39 countries across 5 regions reported having experienced some form of psychological violence while serving their terms. Psychological violence was defined as remarks, gestures and images of a sexist or humiliating sexual nature made against them or threats and/or mobbing to which they might have been subjected. They cited social media as the main channel through which such psychological violence is perpetrated; nearly half of those surveyed (44 per cent) reported having received death, rape, assault or abduction threats towards them or their families .
Above statistics taken from UN WOMEN website: http://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/ending-violence-against-women/facts-and-figures
The awareness to stop violence against women and children is growing. However, progress is slow and we need everyone’s support if we are to eradicate this disease. The general public needs to stand together, both men and women, to ensure that our governments are doing what they are supposed to do, protect us. These acts of violence should have no place in our society today. The future is FEARLESSLY FEMALE. From the #MeToo movement to ending child marriages to lobbying the end of abuse suffered by women and children, women have become the forefront of the today’s news. Their is no reason why you should not participate in this movement and demand equal treatment for all.
“To all the little girls who are watching, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.” —Hillary Clinton in her 2016 concession speech