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Is Domestic Violence A Global Problem? - Facts & Infographic

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Domestic Violence
Domestic Violence is defined differently in the different state constitutions of the US. According to Washington State Law, domestic violence is physical harm, bodily injury, assault, the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, sexual assault, or stalking. The UK Law defines Domestic Violence as “Any incident of threatening behavior, violence, or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial, or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality” The UNICEF accepts Domestic Violence as violence perpetrated by intimate partners and other family members and manifested through physical, sexual, psychological, and economic abuse.

Domestic violence is often viewed as a menace that haunts developing nations or as a regional concern. It is also popularly thought of as a feminist issue. We at MapsofWorld set out examine the statistics that will help verify or reject these claims.

Domestic Violence in the US

The National Network to End Domestic Violence, in a 24-hour survey discovered that over 23,000 calls were placed to domestic violence crisis hotlines and over 65,300 victims were assisted each day in the US. A slow, recessive economy causes a sharp increase in domestic violence. Domestic conflict seems to have increased 40% between 2010 and the first quarter of 2012.

  • In the US a woman is assaulted (in a case of domestic violence) every 9 seconds.
  • Over 1.3 million women are subjected to physical assault by an intimate partner every year.
  • In almost 33% of female homicides, the woman is killed by a husband or intimate partner.
  • Each year, intimate partner violence results in about 16,800 homicides and costs the victims’ families, the state and services about $37 billion including $2.2 million for the medical treatment of injuries
  • 10% of all the calls made to seek police assistance in case of domestic violence are made by the children from the household.
  • About 8 million workdays are lost each year as a result of domestic violence

The three Violence Against Women Acts of 1994, 2000, and 2005, the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act of 1984, and the Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban of 1996 have been very successful in curbing the domestic and family violence rates in the country but the elimination of domestic abuse is still a far cry.

Honor Killing

Honor killing is the murder of a member of the family or social group based on the belief that the victim caused dishonor to the family or group. While incidences of honor killings are frequent in the Middle East and in South Asia, it is certainly not unknown in other parts of the world. It is estimated that about 20,000 women lose their lives each year in South Asia and the Middle East in cases of honor killing and most of these are perpetrated by the victim’s family members. The reasons may vary from homosexuality to refusal to enter into an arranged marriage and from committing adultery or revenge to even wanting to pursue education.

The gruesome topic of Honor Killings has been the subject of many books including - Honor Killing by David E. Stannard; Murder in the Name of Honor by Rana Husseini; Honor Killing by Kenneth R Timmerman; In The Name of Honor by Mukhtar Mai; Burned Alive by Souad; Honour Killing: Stories of Men Who Killed by Ayse Onal and Joan Smith; Price of Honor by Jan Goodwin; Unto the Daughters by Karen Tintori; Honor Killing by Raghbir Dhillon and Mina Manzini; and Honor by Freddie Omm. The books explore honor killings and family violence across the globe.

Male Victims

Traditionally, it has been believed that men are the perpetrators of domestic violence and women have often been considered the victims. In recent years, studies reveal that many men are victims of domestic abuse. Mankind, the UK agency providing support for male victims of domestic violence claims that about one in six men in the UK face domestic abuse in the course of their lifetime. The Australian agency supporting male victims, One In Three, claims that about 33% of the domestic violence and abuse victims in the country are men. About 29.8% of the victims of current partner abuse are men.

In countries like India, while much has been done to protect women against domestic and social violence, scanty little support is provided to male victims of domestic and family violence. In recent times, though, organizations such as All India Men’s Welfare Association, Save Indian Family Foundation, and Men’s Rights Association, have been lobbying for gender neutrality in the country.

In the US, a survey by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2010 contradicted all previous notions about domestic violence and claimed that upto 40% victims of domestic physical violence are men. On an average about 24% of the victims of intimate partner violence homicides are men. A number of organizations in the country, such as Fathers for Equal Rights, National Coalition for Men, and National Center for Men have been supporting men in fending off domestic abuse, alimony rackets, and in preserving their rights. Across the world, there are far fewer shelter homes, helplines and support services for men than for women. For a number of reasons, men are also less likely to report or admit to being the victims of domestic violence.

Is Domestic Violence Global?

Worldwide –

UK –

Australia –

India –

China –

Russia –

Brazil –


  • Women between the ages of 15 & 44 are more at risk from domestic violence than from cancer, RTA, and malaria.
  • One third of all women are beaten, coerced into sex and abused in instances of domestic violence
  • 63% of the boys between ages 11 and 20 who have been found to commit murder have been reported to have killed the person abusing their mother.
  • Battered and abused women are twice as likely to kill themselves
  • Reports from over 10 countries suggest that 55% - 95% women facing physical abused by family members and partners never seek help
  • About 18% of all violent crimes in the UK are cases of domestic violence.
  • The cost of domestic violence to the victims, services and to the state, each year is pegged at about £23 billion
  • Over 12% of children under the age of 11, 18% of adolescents between 11 and 17, and about 24% young adults between ages 18 and 24 are exposed to domestic abuse.
  • Between 2010 and 2011 cases of domestic violence in the UK grew by 35%
  • Each week about 10 women commit suicide in England and Wales to escape domestic abuse.
  • Of all female homicides, 60% women are killed by current or ex partners and about 12% by family members.
  • 15% of pregnant women are subject to physical abuse posing a risk to her health and life and also that of her unborn child.
  • Domestic violence costs the country $8 billion annually and is one of the biggest life threats for women between the ages of 15 and 44 years
  • Each year the mothers of over 35,000 children seek shelter and protection against domestic violence.
  • 31% of all female assault victims were assaulted by current or ex partners.
  • Over 70% of the married women in the country suffer from domestic violence in various forms including beating and rape
  • About 55% of all the women in the country have faced family violence and abuse.
  • Rape makes up for 67% of all sexual assaults among teenage girls – in most cases the perpetrator is known to the victim or a family member
  • Domestic violence against men has led to about 120,000 suicides in the past four years.
  • In 2007, the All China Women's Federation (ACWF) said that the number of annual complaints registered were about 50,000
  • In 2000, there were only about 2000 complaints registered suggesting that there could be many cases which go unreported
  • Domestic violence cases were growing at about 70% annually.
  • In Russia unofficial estimates claim that about 34,000 women are subject to domestic violence
  • About 14,000 women lose their lives to domestic abuse each year.
  • According to a study by the Moscow State University, 60 % of women beaten by their husbands experienced various degrees of trauma
  • 10 women are killed each day in instances of domestic violence
  • About 43.1% of women have suffered domestic violence
  • Calls for domestic violence assistance have increased 16 times from 2006 to 2010
  • 12.3% men in Brazil admit to have suffered from domestic violence
  • From 1997 to 2007, over 41,500 women were murdered in Brazil

The Purple Ribbon

While most countries have governmental support services to help domestic violence victims, most countries also have a number of non-profit organizations working to provide relief. Here are some of the organizations that work towards the prevention of domestic violence and to provide support to the victims.

Global Gender Gap Index

While acknowledging that the male victims of domestic violence are in need of the same protection as female victims, it is important to emphasize that about 85% victims of domestic violence are women. To examine the top 20 countries for women to live in, we took a look at the Global Gender Gap Index of 2011. In the report the World Economic Forum ranked 135 countries of the world by measuring the gap between men and women based on - Economic Participation and Opportunity; Educational Attainment; Health and Survival; and Political Empowerment. The top rated countries were those which had successfully closed or narrowed the gap.

United Nations United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
United States National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
  National Organization for Women
  National Network To End Domestic Violence
  Stop Family Violence
  Men Stopping Violence
  National Domestic Violence Helpline - 1−800−799−SAFE(7233)
United Kingdom WAVE
  Women's Aid
  National Center For Domestic Violence
  Crime Reduction Initiatives
  Karma Nirvana
  National Domestic Violence Helpline - 0808 2000 247
India Women Welfare Association of India (WWAI)
  Woman’s Emancipation and Development Trust (WEDT)
  Affus Woman Welfare Association (AWWA)
  Social Welfare Association for Men (SWAM)
  Jagori Helpline - 011 2669 2700
South Africa FAMSA
  Domestic Violence Support South Africa
  National Domestic Violence Helpline - 0800 055 555
Australia Domestic Violence Resource Center Victoria
  Victims of Crime Support Center, NSW
  Queensland Domestic Violence Resource Center
  Domestic Violence Crisis Service, TAS
  Domestic Violence Outreach Service, SA
  National Domestic Violence Helpline - 1800 737 732
Brazil Brazilian Alliance
  Brazilian Alliance Hotline 415 306 6174

Global Gender Gap Index of 2011 Ranks –

Rank Country Rank Country
1 Iceland 11 Germany
2 Norway 12 Spain
3 Finland 13 Belgium
4 Sweden 14 South Africa
5 Ireland 15 The Netherlands
6 New Zealand 16 United Kingdom
7 Denmark 17 United States of America
8 The Philippines 18 Canada
9 Lesotho 19 Latvia
10 Switzerland 20 Cuba

Bottom 10 countries in terms of Gender Gap –

Rank Country
126 Nepal
127 Oman
128 Benin
129 Morocco
130 Côte d'Ivoire
131 Saudi Arabia
132 Mali
133 Pakistan
134 Chad
135 Yemen

While Gender Gap is not an indicator of domestic violence, closing the divide between the genders has been a positive factor in the prevention and reduction of domestic and family violence.

Influence in Cinema

A number of movies have been made centered on the theme of domestic violence. Some of the better known movies include - Provoked: A True Story (2007); Sleeping With The Enemy (1991); North Country (2005); Te doy mis ojos (2003); What's Love Got to do With It? (1993); Dead By Sunset (1995); and When No One Would Listen (1992)

Is Domestic Violence A Global Problem.

Is Domestic Violence A Global Problem? New Video

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