Domestic violence kills five women every hour | ActionAid UK

Domestic violence kills five women every hour

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Five women are killed every hour by a partner or family member globally, according to new figures released by ActionAid[1] ahead of International Women’s day tomorrow.

An analysis of a United Nations global crime study has revealed that an estimated 43,600[2] women are killed every year by an intimate partner or family member. This is the equivalent to five women every hour or one woman every 12 minutes.

ActionAid also estimates that over half a million women will die as a result of domestic violence by 2030[3]. Despite this, almost a quarter of countries in the world still have no laws specifically protecting women from domestic violence[4].

The findings are being launched as part of international development charity ActionAid’s new briefing Fearless Women and Girls - leading the way, transforming lives which sets out the critical role women’s rights groups play in tackling violence.

The report calls on the Government to commit to boosting the proportion of aid going directly to women’s groups working on the frontline. ActionAid is recommending at least £70 million over the next three years to be taken from the existing aid budget.

Research from the Association for Women’s Rights in Development shows women’s rights’ organisations are chronically underfunded, with an estimated average income of just over £14,000 a year [5].

In 2013 the UK committed £9 million to women’s equality organisations and institutions, this equates to less than 1% of total UK aid for gender equality[6].

Sarah Carson, Women’s Right’s Campaigns Manager, at ActionAid UK, says:

“As a woman the most common form of violence you are likely to face is domestic violence. This is a horrific symptom of gender inequality.

“With a third of all women experiencing some form of violence in their lifetime, the issue is a global epidemic and one which threatens the lives of millions of women every day, with women living in poverty and those facing other forms of discrimination often at greater risk.

“Women’s rights organisations are often the first and most important source of support to women in crisis, the safe haven that they can turn to for help and the best advocates for change. Research shows that their vital work is the single most effective way to end violence for good. Yet they are chronically underfunded.

“The UK government has already demonstrated its commitment to tackling global violence against women and girls. It must now take the next step and ensure that the necessary money is getting directly into the hands of women on the frontline.”

Stand with fearless women and girls to end violence: call on the UK to fund the life changing work of women’s rights organisations around the world

Notes to editors

For more information, interviews and case studies please contact Cora Bauer on Tel: +44 (0)203 122 0767 or Mob: +44 (0)778 789 7467 or at


1. UN Office on Drugs and Crime – Global Study on Homicide 2013. Study looks at homicide levels and trends in 32 countries for the year 2012:

2.    Ibid.

3.    According to the UNODC, levels of intimate partner and family violence have remained stable in most global regions, irrespective of how overall homicide levels increase or decline:

4.    World Bank – Women, Business and the Law 2016. This study covers 176 countries:

5.    Association for Women’s Rights in Development - Watering the Leaves, Starving the Roots:

6.    Aid in Support of Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment  ActionAid recognises that further funds may be made available to women’s rights organisations via multilateral or general civil society funds, however, it was not possible to determine the amount from the OECD-DAC database, the only globally comparable source of aid statistics.

7. Htun, M. and Weldon, L.S. (2012) ‘The civic origins of progressive policy change: combating violence against women in global perspective, 1975-2005. American Political Science Review, 106. Pp 548-569.

Photo credit: Bro-Jorgensen/ActionAid