Violence against women in the home remains the most pervasive form of human rights abuse. Domestic Violence was declared a Human Rights issue for the first time at a United Nations Conference in 1994. It will be a major focus for the Fourth UN Conference on Women and Development, in Bejing, China, September 1995. 6

A recent study indicates that, based on expected sex ratios, the world population is short by about 60 million women, apparently because of the selective abortion of female fetuses, female infanticide, the witholding of medical care and food from girls and women, and from wife murder.5

According to official Indian government statistics, (generally regarded as a low estimate.)
There have been more than 11,259 dowry-related murders in India the last three years.
One dowry death every one hour 42 minutes; One rape every 54 minutes;One molestation every 26 minutes; One kidnapping/abduction every 43 minutes. 2

In Bangladesh 50 percent of all murders are of wives by husbands.1

Due to less food and medical care, girls aged 2 to 4 die at nearly twice the rate as boys in rural Punjab, India 1

A study of amniocentesis in a large Bombay hospital found that 95.5 % of fetuses identified as female were aborted. 1

A survey done in Santiago, Chile indicates that 80% of women have suffered physical, emotional or sexual abuse by a male partner or relative; 63% report they are currently being abused 1

33% of women who come to hospital emergency rooms in Peru are victims of domestic violence.1

Brazil has approximately 841 all-female police stations to assist victims of violence 3

In India and Bangladesh, female mortality between ages 1- 5 is 30-50% higher than male. 4

Doctors in Sudan have estimated that fatalities due to female circumcision, especially infibulation, are approximately one third of all girls in areas where antibiotics are not available. 1

In Cochabamba, Bolivia, 79 percent of female child prostitutes questioned said they had run away from violent homes where male relatives had beaten and raped them. 1

At a recent 12- country workshop held in China on women's nonformal education, participants were asked to name the worst aspect of being female: fear of male violence was the almost unanimous answer.3


1. Heise, Lori, Fact Sheet on Gender Violence as a Health Issue, Center for Women's Global Leadership, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J. 1993

2. Government of India, Department of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Human Resource Development, New Delhi. India. 1991

3. Heise, Lori, "Violence Against Women: The Missing Agenda", Women's Health: A Global Perspective, Westview Press, 1992.

4. Sivard, Ruth Leger, Women....a World Survey, Washington,D.C.: World Priorities, 1985.

5. United Nations. The World's Women: Trends and Statistics 1979-1990, NY 1992.

6. United Nations Development Fund for Women. Women's Rights Are Human Rights, N.Y. 1992.

7. Facts on Domestic Violence. Courtesy Lynne Sowder, Y Care, Chicago (undated)

8. Executive Summary, National Domestic Violence Media Campaign, (undated); quoted in WAC STATS:The Facts About Women, New York, 1992

9. Schneider, Elizabeth, Legal Reform Efforts for Battered Women, 1990

10. Bessuk, Ellen L., "Homeless Families", Scientific American, Dec. 1991.

11. Barbara Hart, 1988, in recent National Coalition Against Domestic Violence pamphlet

12. Bowker, Arbitell and McFerron "On the Relationship Between Wife Beating and Child Abuse", Feminist Perspectives on Wife Abuse, Kersti Yllo and Michael Bogard, eds. 1988.

13. Jaffe, Peter; Wolfe, David; Wilson, Susan Kaye Children of Battered Women, 1990.

14. Stark, Evan and Flitcraft, Anne, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, fact sheet 1992.

15. Wolf, Naomi, The Beauty Myth, William Morrow and Co., NY. ,1991.

16. National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, fact sheet on child abuse,1992.

17. Rape in America, A Report to the Nation. Prepared by the National Victim Center and Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center, 1992.
18. Statistics, 1988, 1989, National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women, Philadelphia.

19. National Commission for Jail Reform, Washington, DC.; WAC STATS:The Facts About Women, NY., 1992 .