Two recent events in US embassies in distant parts of the world required us to confront the issue of sexual violence. On Feb. Despite the transnational dimensions of each story, reporting framed both events in respective national contexts. Reporting on India, CNN emphasized the rising rates of sexual violence in the country and noted that in more than 32, rapes were reported. In its story on the issue in Spain, the BBC reported that rates of sexual assault had been on the rise for five years. Coverage of rape and sexual violence that neglects the global context of gender-based violence invites readers to imagine this international phenomenon as a distant one, the purview of other societies. Reporting that limits the context of gender-based violence to a national space undermines efforts to raise awareness about this issue internationally—and potentially bars us from finding solutions that address the global dynamics from which this epidemic ultimately arises.
Scope of the problem
Sexual violence is any sexual act or attempt to obtain a sexual act by violence or coercion , acts to traffic a person or acts directed against a person's sexuality , regardless of the relationship to the victim. Sexual violence is a serious public health problem and has a profound short or long-term impact on physical and mental health, such as an increased risk of sexual and reproductive health problems,  an increased risk of suicide or HIV infection. Murder occurring either during a sexual assault or as a result of an honor killing in response to a sexual assault is also a factor of sexual violence. Though women and girls suffer disproportionately from these aspects,  sexual violence can occur to anybody at any age; it is an act of violence that can be perpetrated by parents, caregivers, acquaintances and strangers, as well as intimate partners. It is rarely a crime of passion , and is rather an aggressive act that frequently aims to express power and dominance over the victim. Sexual violence remains highly stigmatized in all settings, thus levels of disclosure of the assault vary between regions. In general, it is a widely underreported phenomenon, thus available data tend to underestimate the true scale of the problem. In addition, sexual violence is also a neglected area of research, thus deeper understanding of the issue is imperative in order to promote a coordinated movement against it.
Find Out. This issue is not only devastating for survivors of violence and their families, but also entails significant social and economic costs. In some countries, violence against women is estimated to cost countries up to 3.
We hope that this global report will open up a conversation to bring addressing sexual violence into the very centre of our collective thinking and action and to promote the right of women and girls everywhere to equality and to be free from violence. Around the world, rape and sexual abuse are everyday violent occurrences -- affecting close to a billion women and girls over their lifetimes. However, despite the pervasiveness of these crimes, laws are insufficient, inconsistent, not systematically enforced and, sometimes, promote violence.