VAW and health

VAWG is a violation of human rights. It is also a major cause of ill health among women and girls and is therefore seen as a global public health problem – 1 in 3 women worldwide have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by a partner or sexual violence by a non-partner. In addition to the serious consequences that violence can have on women and girls’ physical health, a 2013 World Health Organization study shows that women who have been physically or sexually abused by their partners are 16% more likely to have a low-birth weight baby, more than twice as likely to have an abortion, almost twice as likely to experience depression, and in some regions 1.5 times more likely to acquire HIV, compared to women who have not experienced partner violence.

This is why we need to strengthen health care systems and develop an integrated health sector approach to prevent and deal with VAWG. Projects in the health sector present a very good opportunity to integrate VAWG prevention... —