A globe of the world is held between two hands. Illustration.

DVA around the world

Domestic violence and abuse is a worldwide problem that occurs in all social, economic, religious and cultural groups. But determining the exact prevalence of DVA is difficult. Inconsistencies in reporting, recording and defining DVA make measuring prevalence challenging.

The psychological, intimate and private nature of the abuse means that it is often not reported. Victims may not want to report it or may not recognise their experience as abuse.

It is estimated that 35% of women, worldwide, have experienced physical and/or sexual violence at some point in their life. Though, some national studies (as reported by the United Nations, 2015) maintain that up to 70% of women have experienced physical and/or sexual DVA in their lifetime.

To give you an ‘at a glance’ understanding of this issue, we have compiled some heat maps of DVA prevalence around the world using the best available data.

A heat map which shows the percentage of women who have experienced physical abuse by country

Click here for an expanded view of this map

A heat map which shows the percentage of women who have experienced sexual abuse by country

Click here for an expanded view of this map

You also can compare these maps using this slider image.

If you’d like to explore this data in more detail, the figures for each country are available in a tagged PDF under the Downloads section.

What do you think?

Are you surprised by the statistics for any particular countries? If so, why were you surprised?

What factors do you think would affect the accuracy of this data?

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This article is from the free online course:

Supporting Victims of Domestic Violence

The University of Sheffield