Tomorrow, February 14th 2013, marks the fifteenth anniversary of the V-day campaign to end violence against women and girls. Through their One Billion Rising campaign, V-day organizers are inviting activists around the world to rise, dance and “join in solidarity, purpose and energy and shake the world into a new consciousness.” One Billion Rising was developed in response to the staggering statistic that one in three women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than 1 billion women and girls.
Violence against women and girls is most often perpetrated by someone the woman knows. Intimate partner violence, rape, “honor” killings, female genital cutting, and human trafficking are all examples of violent acts committed against women and girls. In all parts of the world, adolescent girls experience violence at astronomical levels.
- Approximately 50% of all sexual assaults occur against girls age 15 or younger.
- In 2002, 150 million girls under the age of 18 experienced sexual violence, and many times, adolescents’ first sexual experience is forced or coerced.
- One in five females will be a victim of rape in her lifetime.
- Between 15% and 76% of women experience physical and/or sexual violence perpetrated by an intimate partner over the course of their life.
- Between 2 to 4 million people are trafficked in and across borders each year and females account for 98% of all trafficking victims.
- Approximately 10 million adolescent girls become child brides each year.
- Each year, approximately 5,000 women and girls die because of dowry-related murders.
- An estimated 5,000 adolescent girls and women are killed by family members in the name of honor every year.
- Over 130 girls have undergone female genital cutting and an estimated 30 million are at still risk.
These numbers are unacceptable. Violence against adolescent girls curtails their education and opportunities; it can lead to poor health and psychological outcomes. Repercussions include unwanted pregnancies, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, and death. Violence against women and adolescent girls hinders their ability to thrive and is a blatant violation of their human rights. We can all take a stand and join the movement to end violence against women. Learn how you can take part here: One Billion Rising.