Key facts about VAWG

Violence against women and girls is both a cause and consequence of gender inequality encompassing an extremely wide range of gender-based harms. These harms can include domestic and intimate partner violence, rape and sexual assault, ‘honour’ crimes, femicide, forced prostitution, trafficking and exploitation. The term violence against women and girls also refers to stalking, drink spiking, image-based and online abuse, harmful practices, reproductive rights abuses such as forced abortion, and workplace harassment.

Domestic abuse

Domestic violence can be described as behaviour or patterns of behaviour exhibited to control, coerce, threaten, intimidate or degrade a victim. Domestic violence is usually perpetrated by an intimate partner or ex intimate partner, but also in some cases by a relative or carer. Domestic violence is one of the most common forms of VAWG. In England and Wales between March 2020 and March 2021, domestic abuse cases rose by 6%, with a total of 613,929 reported incidents, according to the ONS.

Domestic abuse can take many forms, including physical and sexual violence, emotional and psychological violence, economic violence, digital violence and reproductive violence.


  • 613,929

    reported incidents of domestic abuse

    in england and wales between March 2020 and March 2021 IN ENGLAND AND WALES

  • 1.6

    million women and girls

    experienced domestic abuse during the pandemic

  • 1 in 4

    women in the UK

    will experience will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime(Home Office)

Sexual harassment and assault

Sexual violence remains widespread in both the UK and Africa, affecting women and girls from all walks of life. From catcalling and workplace harassment to unwanted sexual touching and rape, sexual violence remains a huge societal problem. In England and Wales, the latest ONS figures show that around 620,000 women and girls are sexually assaulted every year. But despite the spread of the problem, five in six women who are rape survivors avoid seeking justice due to misplaced feelings of shame or the fear of being disbelieved, according to Rape Crisis.

Other forms of violence against women and girls

Honour crimes

Forced prostitution and sexual slavery

Trafficking and exploitation



Image-based and online abuse

Workplace harassment


Other harmful practices

  • Virginity testing
  • Hymenoplasty
  • Breast ironing
  • Forced feeding of girls
  • Polygamy
  • Other practices include extreme dietary restrictions, foot binding, scarring, branding/infliction of tribal marks, corporal punishment, stoning, violent initiation rites, widowhood practices, body modifications for the purpose of beauty or marriageability and accusations of witchcraft.

(Source: UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, General Comment No.13; Joint General Recommendation No.31 UN Committee on Elimination of Discrimination against Women and the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child)


Sexual and reproductive rights abuse

  • Forced abortion, forced pregnancy, forced sterilisation etc.
  • Criminalisation of abortion, delay of safe abortion and post-abortion care, forced continuation of pregnancy, abuse and mistreatment of women and girls seeking sexual and reproductive healthcare and information