No Vaccine for Violence Against Women

A third of women worldwide have experienced sexual violence in their lifetime—a figure that has barely budged in the past decade, according to a landmark WHO report released yesterday.

Intimate partner violence is the most common form of violence, but 6% of women reported being sexually assaulted by someone other than their husband or partner, according to data from 161 countries from 2000–2018, NPR Goats and Soda reports.
The scourge “cannot be stopped with a vaccine,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, adding the problem is “endemic in every country and culture.”

Still, women in low- and lower-middle-income nations and regions are disproportionately affected.

  • In Melanesia, 51% of women will experience violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime. 

  • In North America: 25%.

Possible interventions include reforming laws that limit women’s education and improving women’s health care access—including post-rape care, the authors urge.

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