Violence against women and girls crosses all classes, religions and societies. It happens in every country on earth. One in three women will experience violence from men over the course of their lives. Fifteen million girls around the world have experienced sexual assault before their 19th birthday.
Both women and girls are most likely to be abused by someone they know, though sexual violence is also common as a weapon of war in conflict-affected societies. Violence against women and girls can be physical, sexual, psychological or economic.
Each year, between the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (November 25) and Human Rights Day (December 10), the international community marks 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. During this time, Women & Girls is publishing a series of articles to show the many faces of gender-based violence, and highlight some of the ways we might be able to prevent it.