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About one in three women in the world experience some form of violence in their lifetime. And this violence reaches beyond the immediate threat of bruises and broken bones; it is linked to severe health problems, such as chronic pain, disability, disease, and mental problems. The consequences are devastating to individuals and also affect the social health of communities and the economic health of nations.

That’s what PATH’s Dr. Mary Ellsberg and Lori Heise, Dr. Claudia Garcia Moreno of the World Health Organization (WHO), and other leading experts from US organizations focused on women’s health told Congress and their staff at a policy briefing on Thursday, May 11. The briefing shed light on the global prevalence of violence against women and recommendations for how government policies can reduce gender-based violence.

This new information came from the WHO Multi-country Study on Women’s Health and Domestic Violence against Women, recently completed and published by WHO, PATH, and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

The study is the most ambitious study on gender violence ever conducted. It involved more than 24,000 women in ten countries. Read more about it.