Violence against women and girls is one of the most intractable and complex issues on the global policy agenda that will affect one out of three women during her lifetime. According to the United Nations, this phenomenon is a major obstacle to achieving equality, development, and peace. To build a collective response, the National Council for Research on Women, in partnership with the US National Committee for UN Women (previously, UNIFEM USNC), gathered experts at Hunter College in New York for a joint conference (June 11-12, 2010).
Let’s try something. What’s the first word that comes to mind when you hear “gun violence?” OK, what’s the second? Were either of those words “women?” In light of the recent national attention on gun violence, the National Council for Research on Women (NCRW) would like to draw attention to the gender specific angles of gun violence. The lens with which we view an issue helps us see, or not see, problems and solutions that impact a particular group, in our case focusing on women.
A report from the International Rescue Committee (IRC) finds that in countries recovering from war in West Africa, domestic violence is the biggest threat to women's safety.
The report, called "Let Me Not Die Before My Time: Domestic Violence In West Africa," reveals that "across Ivory Coast, Liberia and Sierra Leone, years after the official end of these countries' brutal wars, women are being intimidated, threatened and beaten with shocking frequency."
Though domestic violence is a global issue affecting about one in three women worldwide, IRC chose to focus on these three West African countries to show how the problem can become more severe in post-conflict environments.
The report is based on 10 years of research and direct interaction with women and government leaders in Liberia, Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone. All three countries were embroiled in violent civil wars a decade ago, and those tensions remain.
This 95-page report describes rape, stalking, unwanted touching, exhibitionism, or vulgar and obscene language by supervisors, employers, and others in positions of power. Most farmworkers interviewed said they had experienced such treatment or knew others who had. And most said they had not reported these or other workplace abuses, fearing reprisals. Those who had filed sexual harassment claims or reported sexual assault to the police had done so with the encouragement and assistance of survivor advocates or attorneys in the face of difficult challenges.
U. S. News and World Report reports on a study by researchers at the Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine at The Miriam Hospital in Providence, R.I., that finds that women who were exposed to community violence and those who suffered multiple forms of violence had the highest levels of risky sexual behavior.
Women who've witnessed or been the victims of violence may be more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior, according to new research.
The study included 481 women being treated at a sexually transmitted disease clinic who were assessed for a history of violence and current sexual risk-taking behaviors, such as having a high number of partners or having unprotected sex.
The researchers categorized the women as those having low exposure to violence (39 percent), those who were mainly exposed to community violence (20 percent), those who experienced childhood maltreatment (23 percent), and those who were victims of multiple forms of violence (18 percent).
Women who were exposed to community violence and those who suffered multiple forms of violence had the highest levels of risky sexual behavior, said the researchers at the Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine at The Miriam Hospital in Providence, R.I.
"Sadly, our results show that many women must cope with multiple forms of violence, and that some combinations of violent experiences put women at risk for HIV, other STDs or unplanned pregnancy -- not to mention the risks from the violence itself," lead author Jennifer Walsh said in a hospital news release.
Researchers from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Injury Control Research Center at West Virginia University (WVU-ICRC) have found that intimate partner violence resulted in 142 homicides among women at work in the U.S. from 2003 to 2008, a figure which represents 22 percent of the 648 workplace homicides among women during the period.
The paper, “Workplace homicides among U.S. women: the role of intimate partner violence,” published in the April 2012 issue of Annals of Epidemiology, reports that the leading cause of homicides among women was criminal intent, such as those resulting from robberies of retail stores (39 percent), followed closely by homicides carried out by personal relations (33 percent). Nearly 80 percent of these personal relations were intimate partners.
Risk factors associated with workplace-related intimate partner homicides include occupation, time of day and location. Women in protective-service occupations had the highest overall homicide rate; however, women in healthcare, production and office/administration had the highest proportion of homicides related to intimate partner violence. Over half of the homicides committed by intimate partners occurred in parking lots and public buildings.
“Workplace violence is an issue that affects the entire community,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. “Understanding the extent of the risk and the precipitators for these events, especially for women, of becoming victims of workplace violence is a key step in preventing these tragedies.”
The Bellingham Herald reports on a Japanese Cabinet Office survey that finds that 32.9 percent of married or previously married women in Japan have experienced domestic abuse.
From The Bellingham Herald:
A recent Cabinet Office survey in Japan shows that 32.9 percent of married women or women who have been married in the past have experienced domestic abuse, such as physical harm or psychological harassment.
According to the survey, 41.4 percent of domestic abuse victims did not tell anyone about the situation. In many cases, they meekly accepted the abuse out of consideration for their children or economic concerns, the survey said. The percentage of women who have experienced domestic abuse has remained constant with the two previous surveys conducted in 2005 and 2008. The survey, which was released Friday, is conducted every three years.
When asked about the details of their experience, 25.9 percent of victims said they were punched, kicked or shoved by their husbands and 6.2 percent were assaulted repeatedly. Multiple answers were allowed.
On average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States, based on a survey conducted in 2010. Over the course of a year, that equals more than 12 million women and men. Those numbers only tell part of the story—more than 1 million women are raped in a year and over 6 million women and men are victims of stalking in a year. These findings emphasize that sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence are important and widespread public health problems in the United States.
This report builds on an earlier report published in 2008 by the Office of Development Effectiveness (ODE) of AusAID that assessed current approaches to addressing violence against women and girls in five of Australia’s partner countries: Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Timor-Leste.
According to an ongoing study conducted by Black Women’s Blueprint, sixty percent of Black girls have experienced sexual abuse before the age of 18. More than 300 Black women nationwide participated in the research project. A similar study conducted by The Black Women’s Health Imperative seven years ago found the rate of sexual assault was approximately 40%.
The pervasive nature of this trauma could translate into an increased risk for Black women and girls to experience depression, PTSD and addiction, common symptoms experienced by many survivors of rape.
The Department of Justice estimates that for every white woman that reports her rape, at least 5 white women do not report theirs; and yet, for every African-American woman that reports her rape, at least 15 African-American women do not report theirs.
There are many reasons why Black women may choose not to report incidences of sexual assault. Survivors of all races often fear that they will not be believed or will be blamed for their attack, but Black women face unique challenges.
NCRW is a network of leading university and community based research, policy, and advocacy centers with a growing global reach dedicated to advancing rights and opportunities for women and girls. We also have a Corporate Circle comprised of senior diversity professionals from leading U.S. and global member companies and a Presidents Circle of college and university leaders who share our commitment. NCRW harnesses the collective power of its network to provide knowledge, analysis, and thought leadership on issues ranging from reducing women’s poverty to building a critical mass of women’s leadership across sectors.