Violence against women and girls is the most pervasive human rights violation on earth.
It occurs in all countries, across all races, and takes multiple forms. The United Nations defines violence against women as “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.” 1
This violence has devastating consequences on the survivor, all those close to her, her community, and ultimately her nation. Violence against women fuels global crises such as drug and alcohol abuse, suicide, infant mortality, and poverty. Economically, the cost is staggering: 5.5 percent of the global economy or 4.7 trillion dollars per year. 2
Despite the size and scope of the problem, violence against women is solvable. Research shows that when nations take clear, evidence-based steps toward women’s safety, rates of violence plummet.
How do we get nations to take these steps? A global treaty.