Violent unions

Last update: June 2023 | Next update: June 2024

Globally, around 1 in 5 adolescent girls have experienced 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 experience such violence, 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.


Within the multi-faceted area of violence, current monitoring efforts are focused in two areas, each of which has a dedicated page that can be accessed below.