Intimate Partner Violence

Excerpt from WHO’s Preventing Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Against Women…

Intimate partner violence and sexual violence are serious and widespread problems
worldwide. Apart from being violations of human rights, they profoundly damage the
physical, sexual, reproductive, emotional, mental and social well-being of individuals
and families. The immediate and long-term health outcomes that have been linked to
these types of violence include physical injury, unwanted pregnancy, abortion, gynaecological
complications, sexually transmitted infections (including HIV/AIDS), post traumatic
stress disorder and depression, among others. There are also a number of
pregnancy-related complications such as miscarriage, premature labour and low birth
weight associated with violence during pregnancy. In addition, high-risk behaviours
such as smoking, harmful use of alcohol and drugs and unsafe sex are significantly
more frequent among victims of intimate partner and sexual violence.
The overwhelming burden of intimate partner violence (physical, sexual and emotional)and of sexual violence is borne by women at the hands of men. At the same time, there have been remarkably few efforts to prevent intimate partner or sexual violence from occurring in the first place. However the sheer magnitude of the problem means that preventing intimate partner and sexual violence before it occurs will be crucial not only in reducing the burden of suffering but also in reducing the long-term human, economic and public health costs of such violence.
Reflecting the global importance of preventing intimate partner and sexual violence, please join the rest of the world who are acting to increase the number, quality and effectiveness of intimate partner and sexual violence prevention programmes in all of the world’s societies. This will contribute to a significant improvementin the personal safety, well-being and happiness of girls, boys, women and men everywhere.