New Report: Only Seven Percent of Women Report Gender-Based Violence
Monday, December 23, 2013 12:35 PM

A new study from the American Journal of Epidemiology reports that, on average, only seven percent of women have reported gender-based violence to a formal source (e.g., doctors, the judicial system, or social service providers).  Gender-based violence can go unreported because women are embarrassed, afraid, or believe that it is a normal part of life.  India had the lowest rate of reporting to formal sources - at less than one percent.  Colombia had the highest rate, 26 percent, and Latin America and the Caribbean had the highest regional average, around 14 percent, which reflects the efforts of women's groups in the region to raise awareness of the serious problem of violence against women. 

The study analyzed almost 94,000 survey responses from 24 developing countries between the years 2000 and 2011.  The report indicates that information from health systems or police reports may underestimate crimes of gender-based violence by as much as 11 to 128 times.  The study shows much higher rates of informal reporting of the violence to family members and friends, which at least one expert has indicated shows a need to refocus resources, but even informal reporting was less than 37 percent on average.  

Compiled from: Why Don't Women Report Their Attackers?, The Daily Beast, Dec. 20, 2013.