The world’s most powerful pollster, the United Nations, has produced an annual survey showing that the sex crimes once committed almost exclusively against men are now also being committed by men.
The figures were released on Friday, a day before the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The data show that the rate of violence against women had risen almost 20 percent since the 2014 survey and 37 percent since the last survey in 2005. The trend is especially troubling for women around the world and among women in the same political and social class.
According to the survey, 78 percent of women worldwide experienced violence at some point in their lives.
This year’s poll surveyed 6,007 women from 15 countries around the world. The women who completed the survey were asked: “Have you ever experienced physical, sexual or emotional violence from a current or former partner?”
Two-thirds of those surveyed said yes, the highest response to that question in the 12-year history of the survey. Of the roughly 2,000 women in the surveys, 22 percent said they had experienced severe physical violence, 20 percent said they had experienced sexual violence, 24 percent said they had experienced sexual harassment or sexual exploitation and 14 percent said they had experienced domestic violence.
Asked if the violence had happened all the time, and sometimes the same day, or sometimes occasionally, about 25 percent of women said they had experienced this degree of violence.
The survey also found that 1 in 10 of the women who had been survivors of violence had been raped.
“Despite the progress made, the world still suffers from one of the worst rates of violence against women in the history of the world,” said Jody Williams, the president of the World Health Organization, who was quoted by the New York Times in the survey results. “Many women say violence against them is their normal day-to-day life and that they are unable to live in full freedom and to ensure their safety.”
The survey was conducted in countries around the world and across age and social classes. Nearly all of the women who completed the survey said they had some degree of political or social inequality. About half said they had experienced some form of discrimination.
Eighty-two percent of women around the world said they had experienced physical violence. Fifty-eight percent of them said they had experienced sexual violence. Only 7 percent of the women who had experienced rape said they had been raped before they were 15.
About half of the women who had experienced “sexual exploitation or sexual harassment” said they had experienced this type of crime before they were 18.
This story has been updated.