Today marks the fourteenth annual United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and the start of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, a part of the United Nations Secretary General’s Campaign to End Violence Against Women (UNiTE). Through these campaigns, the UN seeks to raise awareness of the epidemic levels of violence against women and to increase political will and resources for preventing and ending all forms of violence against women and girls around the world.
Globally, 70 percent of women experience violence in their lifetime. In the United States alone, more than one million women are raped every year, though that number may be higher due to low reporting levels. The World Bank estimates that women between the ages of 15 and 44 are more at risk of injury or death from rape and domestic violence than from cancer, car accidents, war, and malaria.
“This International Day to End Violence against Women is an opportunity for all people to recommit to preventing and halting all forms of violence against women and girls,” said UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. “I welcome the chorus of voices calling for an end to the violence that affects an estimated one in three women in her lifetime.”