Violence against women and girls


Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is a serious crime. It can be physical, sexual, emotional and economic. It can happen in public or in private life.

The government's Strategy to end violence against women and girls, 2016 to 2020, published in March 2016, says that across the UK during the previous year there were:

  • an estimated 1.35 million female victims of domestic abuse
  • nearly 450,000 victims of sexual violence

Types of violence and abuse

The United Nations says violence against women is "any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life" – UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, 1993.

The most common forms of violence against women include:

  • domestic violence, including intimate partner violence
  • sexual violence, including rape
  • sexual harassment
  • emotional or psychological abuse

Other forms include:

  • sexual exploitation
  • human trafficking
  • female genital mutilation
  • honour-based abuse
  • forced marriage
  • economic abuse
  • elder abuse
  • modern slavery
  • stalking

Help for victims

Help for victims is available both locally and nationally.

End violence against women and girls

The cost to individuals and society of VAWG is high. There are strategies and policies to end VAWG locally, nationally and worldwide.