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Quick Facts

“Beloved, you are my sister, you are my daughter, you are my face; you are me.” - Toni Morrison 

  • Around the world at least one woman in every three has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime. [1]
  • On a single day in Pennsylvania, 2,476 victims were served by local domestic violence programs. 847 hotline calls were made by survivors of domestic violence. Of reported programs, only 22% of programs reported being able to regularly connect a victim requesting legal assistance with an attorney.[2]
  • Gender-based violence kills and disables as many women between the ages of 15 and 44 as cancer, and its toll on women’s health surpasses that of traffic accidents and malaria combined. [3]
  • 17.6 % of women in the United States have survived a completed or attempted rape. Of these, 21.6% were younger than age 12 when they were first raped, and 32.4% were between the ages of 12 and 17. [4]
  • Following the Supreme Court’s decision in 2000 to strike down the civil-rights provision of the Federal Violence Against Women Act (ruling that only states could enact such legislation), only two states in the country (Illinois and California) have defined gender-based violence, such as rape and domestic violence, as sex discrimination, and created specific laws that survivors can use to sue their perpetrators in civil court.[5]
  • In a study of 475 people in prostitution from five countries (South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, USA, and Zambia): 62% reported having been raped in prostitution. 73% reported having experienced physical assault in prostitution. 92% stated that they wanted to escape prostitution immediately. [6]
  • Sexual assault is one of the most under reported crimes, with almost 60% still being left unreported.[7]
  • About 5,000 women are murdered by family members in the name of honor each year worldwide.[8]
  • For every African-American/Black woman that reports her rape, at least 15 African American/Black women do not report theirs. [9]
  • Only 3% of sexual abuse cases involving people with developmental disabilities are ever reported [10]
  • There are an estimated 100 million to 140 million women and girls who have been subjected to female genital mutilation. Currently, about three million girls, the majority under 15 years of age, undergo the procedure every year.[11]


         [1]Violence Against Women: A Fact Sheet.  Amnesty International, July 2005, available at
         [2]2008: Domestic Violence Counts. The National Census on Domestic Violence Services: Pennsylvania Summary.  National Network to End Domestic Violence, Sept. 2008, available at
         [3]Violence Against Women: A Fact Sheet. Amnesty International, July 2005, available at
         [4]Full Report of the Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey,  National Institute of Justice, Nov. 2000, available at
         [5] Kaethe Morris Hoffer, 2004.
         [6] Melissa Farley, Isin Baral, Merab Kiremire, & Ufuk Sezgin, Prostitution in Five Countries: Violence and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.   1998 Feminism & Psychology 8 (4), 405-426, available at
         [7]2008 Crime Victimization Study: National Crime Victimization Survey.  U.S. Department of Justice, Sept. 2009, available at
         [8]Fact Sheet No. 239: Violence Against Women.  WHO Media Centre, Nov. 2008, available at
         [9] Timothy C. Hart & Callie Rennison, Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report: Reporting Crime to the Police, 1992-2000.  U.S. Department of Justice, March 2003, available at
         [10] D. Valenti-Hein & L. Schwartz.  The Sexual Abuse Interview for Those with Developmental Disabilities. Santa Barbara: James Stanfield Company, 2005.
         [11]Fact Sheet No. 241: Female Genital Mutilation.  WHO Media Centre, May 2008, available at