VIENNA (UPI) — A quarter of all women in the European region are subjected to sexual or physical violence by their partners, a World Health Organization report said.
The report, “Global and regional estimates of violence against women,” was released Monday in conjunction with a 16-day global campaign of Activism Against Gender Violence in Vienna, Austria, the organization said.
“Violence against women cannot be tolerated in any society,” said Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO regional director for Europe.
“Eradicating violence requires determined efforts to promote gender equality, challenge gender stereotypes and work with women and girls — not only as victims of violence but as empowered agents of change. We must bridge sectors and engage all parts of society for concerted action, aligned with the new European policy framework for health and well-being — Health 2020.”
The report found that not only do 25.4 percent of European women experience abuse from their partners, but 5.2 percent of women experience sexual violence from people who are not their partners.
“Protection against violence involves restoring to women the dignity that violence has taken from them. We must not stop drawing attention to violence committed against women and focusing on it politically. Awareness-raising is hard work but it brings us closer to our goals,” said Barbara Prammer, president of the National Council of Austria.
Experts were meeting through Tuesday in Vienna to adopt new WHO clinical and policy guidelines to improve the recording of violence against women, the organization said.