Home Is the Most Dangerous Place for Women Around the World

Written by Kohinur Khyum Tithila

For a majority of women around the world, home isn’t where the heart is. Instead, it’s where danger lives.

According to new findings from the UN, 58 percent of 87,000 recorded female homicides from 2017 were committed by intimate partners or family members—and that rates of such crimes have increased since 2012. The most common motives men gave for such killings were jealousy and fear of abandonment, whereas women who murdered their own male partners often said that they did so in the wake of long-term patterns of physical violence in their relationship.

“Women continue to pay the highest price as a result of gender inequality, discrimination and negative stereotypes,” Yury Fedotov, the UN Office of Drugs and Crime Executive Director, told Agence France-Presse. “The fact that women continue to be affected by this type of violence to a greater degree than men is indicative of an imbalance in power relations between women and men inside the domestic sphere.”

The UN report found that Africa had the highest rate of women killed by intimate partners in 2017—such violence claimed about 1.7 percent of women in the region. The Americas had the second-highest rate, 1.2 percent; Oceania was ranked third at 0.9 percent; Europe was fourth with 0.6 percent; and Asia, which had the highest number of female homicides in 2017—a total of 20,000 recorded cases—was fifth, with 0.5 percent of those deaths resulting from intimate partner violence.

Data collection practices vary from country to country, and the report did not mention if transgender women were included in the statistics—but despite shortcomings, the findings still paint a stark and urgent picture for advocates worldwide. “There’s limitations to the data,” Jodie Roure, a professor at John Jay College in New York who has done extensive research on violence against women, told the New York Times. “Are we getting a perfect picture? No. But the important part is that we’re talking about it, because we weren’t talking about it not too long ago.”

This study, which was released during the UN’s annual 16 Days Against Gender-Based Violence campaign, also laid out recommendations for law enforcement officers, criminal justice agencies and health and social service sector leaders in order to reduce female homicides—and called on men to become allies to the women in their lives and communities.

“In order to prevent and tackle gender-related killing of women and girls,” it declared, “men need to be involved in efforts to combat intimate partner violence/family-related homicide and in changing cultural norms that move away from violent masculinity and gender stereotypes.”

This post originally appeared on Ms. Magazine

Photo Credit: UN Women/Flickr

41 comments

Olivia M
Past Member 3 months ago

Grim reading

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Hannah K
Past Member 3 months ago

Thanks for posting

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Lesa D
Past Member 3 months ago

thank you Kohinur...

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Emma L
Emma L3 months ago

thanks for this

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Leo C
Leo C3 months ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Angeles Madrazo
Angeles Madrazo3 months ago

This must stop! Peace and love for everybody. Thank you

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Sherri S
Sherri S3 months ago

It is so sad to think that women must live in fear at home. This is where they should feel safe and secure NOT fearful.

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Leanne K
Leanne K3 months ago

Yes its safer for women to walk alone through a dark park at night than to be at home. Whereas for men, esp young men, its walking on the street is when they are in the most danger

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Sharon R
Past Member 3 months ago

Thanks for the article.

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Alea C
Alea C3 months ago

Religion has convinced men that women are "disposable", so dispose of them they do. We need to get beyond religion as there is no invisible guy in the sky. Never was.

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