VIENNA – As many as 12 women are killed by their partners or family members every day in Europe alone. In 2008, more than one-third of all murders of women in Europe were carried out by the victim’s spouse or former spouse, and an additional 17% by a relative. (In the same year, only 5% of male homicides were committed by the victim’s spouse or former spouse.) These figures represent only a tiny fraction of the relentless assault on women occurring worldwide – one that is not confined by boundaries of wealth, culture, age, race, or geography.
Such violence is happening everywhere: at home, on the street, and in the workplace. In fact, the United Nations estimates that up to seven in ten women worldwide experience physical or sexual violence – or both – during their lifetime.