“Violence against women and girls is not confined to a specific culture, region or country, or to particular groups of women within a society.
Up to 70 per cent of women experience violence in their lifetime, according to country data available.
Women aged 15-44 are more at risk from rape and domestic violence than from cancer, car accidents, war and malaria, according to World Bank data.”
What does violence cost? Violence occurs at the expense of the dignity and health of its victims (and, arguably, their abusers). It adversely effects every culture, country, and religious group. It strips a person of their physical, psychological, sexual, emotional, and sometimes spiritual well-being. When the body is violated, the entire person is affected. Violence dehumanizes. It destroys families and communities.
Violence is a result of and a promotion for the idea that one human being has superior worth to another human being. As Tony Anderson writes: “[People] fuel the demand…exploitation will only be changed when the hearts of men [and women] fueling it are changed.” It’s an uncomfortable truth; faith in humanity is unstable.
Lives are destroyed and people are killed. The cost of one human life is too high. The cost of millions of lives cannot be adequately expressed.
“…violence against women and girls is not only a human rights or public health issue, but an economic and development issue, slowing economic growth and undermining efforts to reduce poverty. In our imperfect world, it may be precisely [the] price tag that will finally persuade policymakers, communities and societies to take domestic violence seriously ” (Caroline Ansty, link above)
Secondary to the expense of human lives, violence comes with a huge price tag in monetary terms. Human wickedness and suffering directly influence economic stability. Ten years ago, several countries reported their domestic violence had an annual cost of billions. These monies are paying legal and judicial costs, aftercare costs and medical costs.
Statistics in the United States alone say that every 9 seconds, a woman suffers domestic violence. Every 2 minutes, someone is sexually assaulted. In Britain, 2 deaths a week are attributed to domestic violence. Roughly speaking, the Western world reports 1 in 4 women will be abused at least once in their life while 1 in 6 men will be abused at least once in their life. In other parts of the world, 1 in 3 children will be raped before they are 3 or 4 years of age. Violence is a daily – even hourly- occurrence in countless regions of the world. The cost is enormous. Lives are devastated and the world economy suffers.