“Shadow pandemic”: WHO warns 1 in 3 girls globally experiences violence

One in three girls — about 736 million all over the world — face bodily or sexual violence, in response to a brand new report from the World Well being Group (WHO) printed Tuesday.

Why it issues: Violence towards girls stays a worldwide epidemic. The pandemic has additional elevated publicity to violence, the WHO warned, attributable to lockdowns and disruptions to very important assist providers.

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Driving the news: Youthful girls are at highest danger for latest violence, in response to the report, which relies on information gathered from 161 nations between 2000 and 2018.

  • One in 4 younger girls — aged 15-24 — who’ve been in a relationship could have already skilled violence by an intimate accomplice by the point they’re of their mid-twenties.

  • Violence additionally disproportionately impacts girls in low- and lower-middle-income nations.

  • About 37% of girls residing within the poorest nations have skilled bodily and/or sexual intimate accomplice violence. In a few of these nations, the prevalence is as excessive as one in two.

  • Oceania, Southern Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa have the very best prevalence charges of intimate accomplice violence amongst girls aged 15-49.

What they’re saying: “It is deeply disturbing that this pervasive violence by males towards girls not solely persists unchanged, however is at its worst for younger girls aged 15-24 who might also be younger moms,” United Nations Ladies Government Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka stated in an announcement.

  • “And that was the state of affairs earlier than the pandemic stay-at dwelling orders. We all know that the a number of impacts of COVID-19 have triggered a ‘shadow pandemic’ of elevated reported violence of every kind towards girls and women.

  • “Each authorities ought to be taking robust, proactive steps to deal with this, and involving girls in doing so,” she added.

“To handle violence towards girls, there’s an pressing want to cut back stigma round this difficulty, prepare well being professionals to interview survivors with compassion, and dismantle the foundations of gender inequality,” stated the WHO’s Claudia Garcia-Moreno, a doctor who leads the workforce engaged on violence towards girls.

Price noting: President Biden applauded the Home for introducing the Violence In opposition to Ladies Reauthorization Act this week, and referred to as for swift passage.

  • “Delay shouldn’t be an possibility, particularly when the pandemic and financial disaster have solely additional elevated the dangers of abuse and the boundaries to security for ladies in the USA,” he stated in an announcement.

  • The act would enhance funding for packages that fight home violence.

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