2. Prevalence of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a serious problem around the world. It violates the fundamental human rights of women and often results in serious injury or death. While statistics vary slightly, women are victims of violence in approximately 95% of the cases of domestic violence. While women do use violence against intimate partners, womenís use of violence is distinct from menís use of violence in historical, cultural, psychological, motivational and situational ways.

Statistics on the prevalence of the problem indicate that domestic violence is a worldwide epidemic. Studies show that between one quarter and one half of all women in the world have been abused by intimate partners. Worldwide, 40-70% of all female murder victims are killed by an intimate partner.

Many people view domestic violence as exclusively part of certain ethnic or racial communities, or as unique to certain classes, within their societies. In interviews throughout the CEE/CIS region, for example, people often discussed domestic violence in terms of the race, ethnicity, class, education level or age of the abuser or victim. The group or community identified as the victims and perpetrators depended on the country and background of the person being interviewed. This myth conflicts with research that shows domestic violence occurs in all social, economic, religious and cultural groups.

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