Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

One in 14 women sexually assaulted worldwide: First ever global picture of sexual violence published in The Lancet

Protesters outside a court in New Delhi demanding the death penalty four men who raped and killed a young Indian woman on a moving bus. September 2013 (AP)
Protesters outside a court in New Delhi demanding the death penalty four men who raped and killed a young Indian woman on a moving bus. September 2013 (AP)

An estimated 1 in 14 women worldwide is sexually assaulted by someone other than an intimate partner in their lifetime.

A grim new study published by The Lancet found that, worldwide, 7.2 per cent of women aged 15 or older reported non-partner sexual violence.

The research covers 56 countries where the authors searched previous research published between 1998 and 2011.

The global picture varies widely and follows high profile rape cases in India.

Highest rates of sexual violence were seen in central sub-Saharan Africa, southern sub-Saharan Africa, and Australasia.

But while south Asian countries have the lowest rates, the problem is probably underestimated because of under-reporting stemming from stigma, according to scientists led by Naeemah Abrahams from the South African Medical Research Council.

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“Despite the limitations of the existing data, we found that sexual violence is a common experience for women,” they said in the published paper.

“The psychological effects of sexual violence and the high prevalence we found confirm that it is a pressing health and human rights concern.”

 

Further reading:

Probe ordered into gang rape claims

138 Britons raped while abroad last year - Spain had highest number of attacks

30% of women 'face domestic abuse' 

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