The main focus of the WHO Study was violence against women by male intimate partners. This included physical and sexual violence, emotional abuse and controlling behaviours by current partners or ex-partners, and covered both the current situation of the women interviewed

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and their lifetime experience. This report concentrates mainly on women’s reports of physical and sexual violence, particularly when assessing the associations with health consequences, because of the difficulty of quantifying emotional abuse consistently across cultures. The results indicate that violence by a male intimate partner (also called “domestic violence”) is widespread in all of the countries covered by the Study.However, there was a great deal of variation from country to country, and from setting to setting within the same country.
Whereas there was variation by age, by marital status and by educational status, these sociode mographic factors did not account for
the differences found between settings. The wide variation in prevalence rates signals that this violence is not inevitable.
The proportion of ever-partnered women who had ever experienced physical or sexual violence, or both, by an intimate partner in their
lifetime, ranged from 15% to 71%, with mos sites falling between 29% and 62%. Women in Japan were the least likely to have ever
experienced physical or sexual violence, or both, by an intimate partner, while the greatest amount of violence was reported by women
living in provincial (for the most part rural) settings in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Peru, and the United Republic of Tanzania. Yet even in Japan,
about 15% of ever-partnered women reported experiencing physical or sexual violence, or both, at some time in their lives. For partner
violence in the past year, the figures ranged from 4% in Japan and Serbia and Montenegro to 54% in Ethiopia.
How was physical and sexual
violence IS measured
Prevalence estimates of physical and sexual violence were obtained by asking direct, clearly worded questions about the
respondent’s experience of specific acts. For physical violence, women were asked whether a current or former partner had ever :
• slapped her, or thrown something at her that
could hurt her;
• pushed or shoved her;
• hit her with a fist or something else that
could hurt;
• kicked, dragged or beaten her up;
• choked or burnt her on purpose;
• threatened her with, or actually used a gun,
knife or other weapon against her. Sexual violence was defined by the following three behaviours:
• being physically forced to have sexual
intercourse against her will;
• having sexual intercourse because she was
afraid of what her partner might do;
• being forced to do something sexual she
found degrading or humiliating.
Information was also collected about the frequency and the timing of the violence, allowing analysis of the extent to which different forms of violence occurred in the 12 months prior to the interview Versus in the woman’s lifetime. In combination with information on the timing of the relationship, it is possible to assess the extent to which different forms of violence occurred prior to marriage or cohabitation, during marriage or cohabitation, or after separation. It can also shed light on how women’s risk of violence changed over the duration of
their relationship.