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05 October 2006

Partners greatest source of abuse

Women are at more risk of violence from their partners than from any other source, according to a study published on Friday by the UN's World Health Organization (WHO).

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Women are at more risk of violence from their partners than from any other source, according to a study published on Friday by the UN's World Health Organization (WHO).

Researchers interviewed more than 24 000 women aged 15-49 at 15 locations in 10 countries - Bangladesh, Brazil, Ethiopia, Japan, Namibia, Peru, Samoa, Serbia, Thailand and Tanzania.

"Intimate partner violence" by a husband, boyfriend or live-in partner was common, they found.

In 13 of the 15 locations, more than a quarter of the women reported having been victims of physical or sexual violence, or both, from a partner at some point in their lives.

Greatest risk from partner
In all but one site, women were at far greater risk of violence by a partner than from other perpetrators.

The safest place in relative terms was in the Japanese city of Yokohama, where 15 percent of women reported violence.

The most dangerous was in Butajira, a rural district in Ethiopia, where the rate was 71 percent of women interviewed.

Much of the violence, especially in Ethiopia, Peru, provincial Thailand and rural Tanzania was rated as severe - being kicked or beaten up, choked, hit with an object or threatened with a knife, gun or other weapon.

There was also a close connection between physical or sexual assault. In most sites, between 30 and 56 percent of women who had ever experienced any violence reported both types of violence.

Lead author of the study, which appears in The Lancet, is the WHO's Claudia Garcia-Moreno. – (Sapa-AFP)

Read more:
Your lawful wedded punchbag?
Leaving your abusive spouse

October 2006

 
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