Patricia Davidson, Dean of SON: Violence Against Women
The lives and freedom of women and girls across the globe have suffered attacks both subtle and horrific, political and personal, in peace and in war. There are victimizations that we in this nation could not imagine, others we know all too well, as in the recent Stanford University rape case.
World Health Organization global statistics show that 1 in 3 women, or some 35 percent, have experienced intimate partner or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetimes. Nearly 40 percent of women murdered each year are killed by an intimate partner. Some 150 million-plus women and girls the world over live with the consequences of female genital mutilation, a cruelty performed in the name of tradition or religion. The Islamic State’s savage campaign in the Middle East has turned thousands of kidnapped young women into sex slaves. And though not on the level of such extreme violence, hard-won rights to birth control and abortion, even in cases of rape or incest, are under constant threat in the United States.
The toll of such emotional and physical stress is monumental, and the health fallout is as predictable as it should be preventable. So the world will be watching as the 2016 International Council on Women’s Health Issues (ICOWHI) Congress convenes in Baltimore from November 6 to 9, 2016. This is a chance for researchers to hear, to share, and to nurture ideas furthering the ICOWHI mission to “enhance empowerment, decrease inequity, and promote the health and well-being of women worldwide by facilitating and supporting communication and networking among researchers, clinicians, educators, and community advocates.
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Interested in learning more about gender-based violence? The Johns Hopkins Center for Clinical Global Health Education (CCGHE) is launching the free online course Confronting Gender-based Violence: Global Lessons for Healthcare Workers.