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31/05/2013 | Document
Sexual and reproductive health

Understanding and addressing violence against women. Health consequences

Violence has immediate effects on women’s health, which in some cases, is fatal. Physical, mental and behavioural health consequences can also persist long after the violence has stopped.
Portada Comprender y abordar la violencia contra las mujeres. Consecuencias para la salud

Violence against women and girls occurs in every country and culture, and  is rooted in social and cultural attitudes and norms that privilege men over  women and boys over girls. The abuse takes many forms, including:
- intimate partner violence (sometimes called domestic or family violence, or  spousal abuse) which can be physical, sexual or emotional;
- dating violence;
- sexual violence (including rape) by strangers, acquaintances or partners;
- systematic rape during armed conflict;
- forced prostitution, trafficking or other forms of sexual exploitation;
- female genital mutilation (FGM) and other harmful traditional practices;
- dowry-related violence;
- forced marriage or cohabitation, including forced wife inheritance and ‘wife  kidnapping’;
-  femicide and the killing girls or women in the name of ‘honour’; and
- female infanticide and deliberate neglect of girls.


  • Organización Panamericana de la Salud (OPS)
  • Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS)

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NLM: WA309