In three quarters of countries with data, at least 1 in 5 adolescent girls have been the victim of recent intimate partner violence

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, girls are at greater risk. Violence against girls and women persists for many reasons. One contributing factor may be the widely held view that girls and women have low status in society and are expected to comply with, and conform to, certain defined gender roles of devoted mothers and wives. When such roles are not fulfilled, partner violence may be seen as a justified form of punishment in certain contexts.