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Domestic Violence is a Worldwide Problem

The Women's International Perspective | 3-13-2013

Domestic violence is part of the wider issue of gender violence, which the majority of the time is violence against women, a phenomenon that affects women of all races and all social conditions.

As an example, the statistics of the most serious consequences of gender violence in Mexico are staggering: Over 400 women and girls have been killed in Ciudad Juarez and Chihuahua in the last 14 years. According to the Mexican health ministry, about one in three Mexican women suffer from domestic violence.

In addition, thousands of women have become ‘desaparecidas,' or missing. Most women who were missing were raped and beaten before they were killed.

The phenomenon affects not only individuals but has a wide-ranging impact on the family and society as a whole. According to Noeleen Heyzer, former executive director of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), “violence against women devastates people’s lives, fragments communities, and prevents countries from developing.”

UNICEF Mexico reports that in Mexico, four in 10 women report acts of spousal violence carried out against them, but only one in three commence legal proceedings. This violence against women is part of the culture and is one of the reasons female victims of domestic violence face serious obstacles when they try to denounce it.

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