Press Release: International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women – 25th November 2019
The European Institute of Women’s Health (EIWH) invites its members, friends and colleagues to join us in recognition of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women to help combat violence against women and increase awareness of both the physical and psychological effects of violence on women’s health, particularly those from domestic and sexual violence.
“A third of all women and girls experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, half of women killed worldwide were killed by their partners or family, and violence perpetrated against women is as common a cause of death and incapacity for those of reproductive age, as cancer, and a greater cause of ill health than road accidents and malaria combined.” i
Violence against women affects women of all circumstances. However, specific groups of women are particularly vulnerable including disabled women, female asylum seekers, migrant and ethnic minority women, prostitutes, refugees, trafficked women and women living in institutions.
“Domestic violence is the most common form of violence against women in the EU; alcohol is the most common cause of this violence. Domestic violence results in immediate physical and mental health side effects as well as long-term effects ranging from injury to death,” stated, Peggy Maguire, Director General, European Institute of Womens Health
Sexual violence against women is associated with sexually transmitted infections; physical health issues including back and abdominal pain, gastrointestinal disorder, and irritable bowel syndrome; gynaecological problems; and mental health issues such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder that can, in extreme cases lead to suicide. It is estimated in Europe that unwanted pregnancy occurs in one in six rapes among women aged 12-45 years.
The World Health Organisation found that the healthcare sector is vital to combatting violence against women by identifying abuse early, providing victims with appropriate treatment and referring women to needed care. Women must feel safe when accessing these services where they are treated respectfully, without stigma, as abused women are often reluctant to seek the needed care.
We encourage the strengthening of the rights, support and protection of crime victims, especially women and children. The EIWH also praises European efforts to eliminate female genital mutilation through public consultations and through awareness raising and grass roots activities at national and transnational levels.
The EIWH welcomes the continued efforts by the European Community to end gender-based violence. Only concerted efforts by all stakeholders working together to make combatting violence against women a priority and to garner the political will and the resources to eliminate this violence from across Europe.
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