Ending Violence

Violence against women is a grave violation of human rights. It comes in many forms and its impacts are deep. 

Women of all ages, race, culture and socio-economic situations experience domestic or intimate partner violence, sexual harassment and assault, female genital mutilation, trafficking, sexual violence in conflict and gender-related killings. In fact, it is estimated that 35% of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual violence at some point in their life.

These forms of violence result in immediate and long-term physical, sexual and mental health consequences, while also preventing women from fully participating in society. Violence not only has negative consequences for women but also families, communities and countries at large.

While decades of campaigning has put ending gender-based violence high on national and international agendas, there is still not enough being done to prevent violence.

UN Women works to prevent and respond to violence against women across the globe by:

  • Expanding access to services, such as mental, physical and sexual health care, post-rape care and counselling;
  • Implementing initiatives to address sexual harassment and other forms of sexual violence in public spaces;
  • Improving knowledge and providing guidance around implementing laws, policies and programs; and
  • Advocating to end violence against women through the Secretary General’s UNiTE to end violence against women campaign.

Related Stories


Global Database on Violence against Women

The Global Database on Violence against Women is an online resource designed to provide comprehensive and up-to-date information on measures taken by governments to address violence against women, in the areas of laws and policies, prevention, services and statistical data.

EVAW COVID-19 Briefs

This series explores in depth the trends and impacts of the recent global COVID-19 pandemic on violence against women and girls. It examines implications for the prevention of and response to violence against women and girls in public and private settings, including violence facilitated by information and communications technology. It also makes recommendations for the collection of data on the impact of COVID-19 on violence against women and girls.

Tackling violence against women and girls in the context of climate change

Violence against women and girls (VAWG) and climate change are two of the most pressing global emergencies and sustainable development challenges of our time. This paper provides a brief overview of the evidence of the impact of climate change on VAWG and makes recommendations across both the climate change and ending VAWG sectors.

Guidance note: Preventing violence against women in politics

The guidance note discusses key concepts and norms about violence against women in politics, including definitions and normative frameworks, and provides practical guidance for addressing violence against women in politics at country level through different interventions.

Quick Facts

  • 1 in 3 women, worldwide, have experienced physical or sexual violence – mostly by an intimate partner. When accounting for sexual harassment, this figure is even higher. 

  • Calls to helplines have increased five-fold in some countries as rates of reported intimate partner violence increase because of the COVID-19 pandemic

  • 137 women are killed by a member of their family every day.

  • 39% of Australian women have experienced some form of sexual harassment in the workplace.