A new report, funded in part by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development of the National Institutes of Health, found that gender-based violence in the developing world is being under-reported by 11 – to 128 fold. The data that was used to make these findings were from health systems and police reports.
The paper, “Tip of the Iceberg: Reporting and Gender-Based Violence in Developing Countries,” analyzed data from Demographic and Health Surveys from 24 countries revealed 93,656 women as survivors of GBV. The researchers discovered that only 7 percent of women globally who are survivors of physical or sexual violence report GBV to formal sources, including legal, medical, or social support services. Additionally, disclosure of GBV to family, friends, or neighbors of the victims was low (37 percent). In 20 of the 24 countries studied, the majority of women told no one at all.
“Our results confirm that the vast majority of women who have experienced GBV remain uncounted,” said Dr. Palermo. “The research further indicates that not only are most survivors not receiving formal services, but they are not receiving informal support from friends and family members.”
Based on the reported data Dr. Palermo believes dedicated centers should be created where women can be treated physically and mentally for gender-based violence. These independent centers will likely paint a clearer picture about global gender-based violence statistcs instead of women being afraid to come forward and keeping the data skewed.