Issue Brief on Violence

Sunday, January 1, 2006
United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM)

Around the world, women and girls are victims of countless acts of violence. In a great many of these instances, the violence is not random — women and girls are victims because they are female. The range of gender-based acts of violence in conflict is devastating, occurring, quite literally, from womb to tomb. Among other abuses, violence against women includes: rape, sexual mutilation, purposeful infection with HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections (STI), forced impregnation, forced abortion, female genital mutilation (FGM), sexual harassment, trafficking, forced prostitution, dowry-related violence, domestic violence, battering, and marital rape. Violence against women and girls occurs in every segment of society — regardless of class, ethnicity, culture, country or whether the country is at peace or war.

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