Shocking data on violence against women

A recent survey by the WHO of 81 nations reveals that domestic violence against women at the hands of their partners is occurring globally at shockingly high levels of 30% of all women. The study also gives the variation by regions, but not by nations.

WHO violence against women

Another disturbing statistic is that 38% of all murdered women were killed by their partners.

All this is undoubtedly a relic of the thinking of women as chattels who ‘belong’ to their partners, just like animals and other property, and not as human beings with equal rights.


  1. CaitieCat says

    is occurring globally at shockingly high levels

    With the greatest respect, I would like to point out that being able to find this number shocking is, in itself, a kind of privilege. It’s not the least bit shocking to me, or probably to a lot of women, who know how many friends they’ve got who’ve been through it.

    I am honestly pleased that your life has been such as to make this a shocking thing. I only wish we all had that possibility. I sincerely appreciate your posting about it, as it’s definitely important, and I mean anything here only as the mildest of positive critique – I don’t think there’s anything even slightly malicious in your having said so. I just think it’s a nice example of the insidious ways that privilege can affect even the most well-meaning among us.

  2. Mano Singham says

    There is no question that I have led a privileged life. While I have personally known women who have been abused this way, the statistics are nowhere close to this. Either they have been very good at keeping it quiet or I live among a statistically anomalous community.

  3. says

    “It’s not the least bit shocking to me, or probably to a lot of women, who know how many friends they’ve got who’ve been through it.”

    Or have been through it ourselves…

  4. smrnda says

    I’m not shocked at all, but I think part of this (me not being shocked but you being shocked) is that men might be intellectually aware that violence against women happens, but it isn’t happening to them, and they aren’t as likely to get first-hand accounts of it. It’s kind of how I know that Black people get hassled by the police more often, but most of my Black friends know it in a much more immediate, concrete way – they know when it happened to them and to people they know; they’ve got a lot more specific times and dates and I have a % in my head and a few anecdotal reports.

    Something this always makes me wonder is what % of men are engaging in the violence? Are we looking at a pretty large segment of the male population, or a smaller % of repeat offenders? I haven’t seen many up to date stats on this, but I’d like to know if anybody knows this.

  5. CaitieCat says

    Apologies, WMDKitty, you’re quite right. Sorry to have failed to mention that possibility.

  6. johnmarley says

    I would like to point out that being able to find this number shocking is, in itself, a kind of privilege.

    Of course it is. Having one’s privilege revealed is going to be shocking almost by definition. The issue is the response that shock provokes.

  7. bad Jim says

    smrnda, I don’t know about violence, and I can’t offer a citation, but there is substantial evidence that a relatively small group of men are responsible for a large proportion of rapes, implying that rape is far from normal behavior.

  8. CaitieCat says

    I agree completely. And as I said above, I have no doubt whatsoever that this was in no way intentional or malicious by Mano; I read and enjoy his stuff regularly enough to know that it’s not-knowing that’s the issue, not any lack of dedication to the concepts of equality. Totally on side.

    And in fact, that touches close to what I told my kids as they grew up: it’s not making a mistake that counts. It’s what you do next that says a lot more about who you are. And here? Mano did it the same way I would hope I would. By recognizing the case, and hearing the criticism without lashing out. Couldn’t really ask for a more appropriate response (and thank you, Mano, for being that way, it makes it much easier to mention something).

    In the end, I just wanted to take the opportunity to bring it up because “not having to know about things” is one of those really insidious forms of privilege, that can be really hard to see, not even necessarily for the OP, but also for people reading along who hadn’t considered that this, too, can be an expression of privilege, and like many others, has no necessary connection to malice or hate. It can have such a connection, but it can happen without that too.

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