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Violence against Women

WHO Global Campaign for Violence Prevention

"Violence against women knows no geographical, linguistic or cultural boundaries and it affects all women without regard for their level of income. However, for many women, poverty adds another dimension to the pain and suffering they experience as a result of violence. Poverty limits choices and access to the means to protect and free oneself from violence. It also means more barriers to using services and programs that can help."[1]  Abusive relationships effect the physical, psychological, spiritual and economic health of women.[10] [9]

The poster to the right is from the WHO Global Campaign for Violence Prevention "The objectives of the campaign are to raise awareness about the problem of violence, highlight the crucial role that public health can play in addressing its causes and consequences and encourage action at every level of society." The red text on the poster reads: "1 in 2 female murder victims are killed by their male partners, often during an ongoing abusive relationship."

The following information is from a document entitled, "Breaking the links between poverty and violence against women: A resource guide."[1]

Violence keeps women in conditions of poverty

  • Many women in abusive relationships have an education and skills, but the psychological and physical trauma they experience may impair their ability to get or keep a job.

  • One third of women who are battered reported they had to take time off from everyday activities (including work) because of the abuse.

  • In giving up a job or leaving home to avoid a violent situation, women often must turn to social assistance, reducing their income to below the poverty level.[9]


1. Gurr J, Mailloux L. Breaking the links between poverty and violence against women: a resource guide. Ottawa, Ont: Health Canada, Family Violence Prevention Division; 1996.

9. Mosher J, Evans P, Little M, Morrow E, Boulding J & N VanderPlaats. Walking on Eggshells: Abused Women's Experiences of Ontario's Welfare System. Final Report of Research Findings from the Woman and Abuse Welfare Research Project. April 5, 2004. accessed August 28, 2007

10. Staggs, SL, Riger, S. Effects of intimate partner violence on low-income women’s health and employment. The American Journal of Community Psychology. 2005;36:133-45.

All references for this section