Current Status + Progress
1 in 3 adolescent girls aged 15 to 19 worldwide (84 million) have been the victims of any emotional, physical or sexual violence committed by their husbands or partners at some point in their lives

Intimate partner violence includes any physical, sexual or emotional abuse perpetrated by a current or former partner within the context of marriage, cohabitation or any other formal or informal union. Although both girls and boys can be victims of intimate partner violence, girls are at greater risk. In societies that sanction male dominance over women, violence between intimate partners may be perceived as an ordinary component of interpersonal dynamics between the sexes, particularly in the context of marriage or other formal unions. Adolescents who are involved in informal relationships can be equally vulnerable to intimate partner violence. Dating violence refers to a pattern of controlling or violent behaviours by a current or former dating partner.

Prevalence of partner violence against ever-married adolescent girls and boys

More than half of ever-married girls have experienced partner violence in Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Zimbabwe
Percentage of ever-married girls aged 15 to 19 years who ever experienced any physical, sexual or emotional violence committed by their husbands or partners

Notes: Data for the Plurinational State of Bolivia and Honduras refer to girls who experienced any physical, sexual or emotional partner violence in the last 12 months. Data for Côte d’Ivoire refer only to adolescent girls who are currently married or in union. Data for Kazakhstan are from MICS 2010-2011, which used an adapted version of the DHS module on domestic violence. Data for Pakistan refer only to physical or emotional violence. Data for the Philippines refer to physical, sexual, emotional or other forms of violence, including economic violence. Data for Bangladesh, Colombia, Peru and Rwanda refer to physical or sexual violence only. Data for Cabo Verde, Equatorial Guinea, Marshall Islands and Ukraine are based on 25-49 unweighted cases.

Source: UNICEF global databases, 2014, based on Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) and Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS), 2005-2013.

In the Plurinational State of Bolivia, about 60 per cent of adolescent boys report
experiencing some form of intimate partner violence
Percentage of ever-married boys aged 15 to 19 who experienced physical, sexual or emotional violence committed by their wives/partners and ever-married boys and men aged 15 to 24 who experienced physical violence committed by their wives/partners(Ukraine)

Notes: Data for the Plurinational State of Bolivia are based on 25-49 unweighted cases and refer to boys who experienced any physical, sexual or emotional partner violence in the last 12 months; emotional violence includes the wife or partner humiliating or insulting him, accusing him of being unfaithful, attempting to limit contact with his family and threatening to leave him or to take away the child(ren); physical violence includes being pushed, beaten with hands or hard objects and choked or burned; sexual violence includes only forced sexual intercourse. Data for Ukraine refer to boys and men who were ever hit, slapped, kicked or physically hurt in another way by their wives or partners when they were not already beating or physically hurting them; data on partner emotional and sexual violence are not available for Ukraine.

Source: UNICEF global databases, 2014, based on DHS, 2007-2012.

Partner violence initiated by adolescent girls

In a few countries, a significant share of adolescent girls admit to having initiated physical violence against their partners
Percentage of ever-married girls aged 15 to 19 years who reported ever committing
physical violence against their husbands or partners when the men were not

Notes: Data for Côte d’Ivoire refer to adolescent girls who are currently married or in union. Data for Equatorial Guinea and the Marshall Islands are based on 25-49 unweighted cases.

Source: UNICEF global databases, 2014, based on DHS, 2005-2012.

Dating violence

In some countries, a significant proportion of adolescents report incidents of violence in their dating relationships
Among those students aged 13 to 15 years who had a boyfriend or girlfriend, the percentage who were hit, slapped or physically hurt by their boyfriend or girlfriend in the past 12 months, by sex

Source: Global School-based Student Health Surveys (GSHS), 2004-2007.

Methodology

For further details, see: United Nations Children’s Fund, Hidden in Plain Sight: A statistical analysis of violence against children, UNICEF, New York, 2014.