Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread violations of human rights.
Global estimates published by WHO indicate that about 1 in 3 (35%) of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime. Most of this violence is intimate partner violence. Worldwide, almost one third (30%) of women who have been in a relationship have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by their intimate partner and as many as 38% of all murders of women are committed by intimate partners. Yet to date, only two out of three countries have outlawed domestic violence, while 37 countries worldwide still exempt rape perpetrators from prosecution if they are married to or eventually marry the victim. Furthermore, 49 countries currently have no laws protecting women from domestic violence.
Women's rights activists have observed November 25th as a day against gender-based violence since 1981. This date was selected to honour the Mirabal sisters, three political activists from the Dominican Republic who were brutally murdered in 1960 by order of the country’s ruler, Rafael Trujillo (1930-1961). November 25th also marks the beginning of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence which end on December 10th, Human Rights Day. This annual campaign is used by individuals and organisations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.
To mark this event, Elsevier presents a curated, open access collection of 52 journal articles and book chapters to highlight the urgent need to end violence against women and girls.