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It is estimated that there are over 6 billion people living in the world today. Over half of those people are females – 3.3. billion to be exact. According to the United Nations 1 (U.N.), one in three women is beaten or sexually abused in her lifetime. The math is simple:
One billion women have or will experience gender-based violence (GBV).
This is the most socially tolerated human rights violation of our time, deeply rooted in tradition, inequity and ignorance. The cost of the global pandemic of gender-based violence is beyond measure. The destructive impact can be seen in global and regional economics, education, public health, and most poignantly, in the physical and psychological toll it takes on the one billion individual girls and women whose lives are never the same after being violated.
¹ UN Commission on the Status of Women, 2/28/00 : official UN definition: Gender-based violence is internationally accepted as any act 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 deprivations of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life. This includes, but is not limited to, acts of physical, sexual, and psychological violence in the family, community, or perpetrated or condoned by the State, wherever it occurs. These acts include: spousal battery; sexual abuse, including of female children; dowry-related violence; rape, including marital rape; female genital mutilation/cutting and other traditional practices harmful to women; non-spousal violence; sexual violence related to exploitation; sexual harassment and intimidation at work, in school a elsewhere; trafficking in women; and forced prostitution.