To raise more awareness of gender-based violence, the United Nations observes the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25th every year.
Violence against women has been deemed as one of the most prevalent human rights violations and health issues in the world. Often, this violence as seen as gender-based, as a root cause of the problem is how women still occupy a lower-class status in many societies. Gender-based violence includes physical, sexual and psychological violence, and happens to women from all walks of life.
While many men and women now reject stereotypes of violent and controlling masculinity, much more needs to be done to stem the abuse and torment a lot of women are expected to face in the course of their lives. Aside from the shocking estimate that one in three women will experience some form of sexual violence in their lives, here are some other facts about violence against women.
Around 120 million girls worldwide have experienced forced sexual acts at some point in their lives – mostly at the hands of former husbands, partners or boyfriends.
On average, 3,000 rape cases are reported in Malaysia every year. Women’s groups however estimate that only two out 10 cases are actually reported.
Around 71% of human trafficking victims are women and girls, with many being trafficked for sexual exploitation and forced labour.
A local study in 2014 showed that nine per cent of women who have ever been in relationships have experienced domestic violence. This means over 800,000 Malaysian women have likely experienced abuse.
In August 2017, Malaysia passed the Domestic Violence (Amendments) Act 2017, which offers victims greater protection. The Act provides speedier legal safeguards for victims, clearer definitions for psychological and emotional abuse, and includes financial abuse.