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WHO Releases First Global Study of Domestic Violence

The World Health Organization (WHO) has released a study on domestic violence on a global scale. Titled “The WHO Multi-country Study on Women’s Health and Domestic Violence Against Women,” the report notes that women are much more likely to be subjected to violence at the hands of their partners than at the hands of strangers.

Some 24,000 women were interviewed in Bangladesh, Brazil, Ethiopia, Japan, Namibia, Peru, Samoa, Serbia and Montenegro, Thailand, and the United Republic of Tanzania. According to Women’s eNews, the report is the first to focus on domestic violence in countries other than Canada, Europe, and the United States. WHO worked with PATH, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, as well as women’s organizations in all of the countries in order to determine trends of abuse and the effects on women’s mental and physical health.

Discussing the study’s findings, Dr. Charlotte Watts of the London School stated that, “Partner violence appears to have a similar impact on women’s health and well-being regardless of where she lives, the prevalence of violence in her setting, or her cultural of economic background.” Of those interviewed, 20 percent had not revealed their abuse to anyone beforehand and those who did generally chose to confide in friends and family rather than look to the authorities for help.

Sources:

Reuters 11/24/05; WHO press release 11/24/05; WomenÕs eNews 12/4/05

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