LONDON (AP) — About 1 in 10 men in some parts of Asia admitted raping a woman who was not their partner, according to the first large studies of rape and sexual violence. When their wife or girlfriend was included, that figure rose to about a quarter.
International researchers said their startling findings should change perceptions about how common violence against women is and prompt major campaigns to prevent it. Still, the results were based on a survey of only six Asian countries and the authors said it was uncertain what rates were like elsewhere in the region and beyond. They said engrained sexist attitudes contributed, but that other factors like poverty or being emotionally and physically abused as children were major risk factors for men’s violent behavior.
A previous report from the World Health Organization found one-third of women worldwide say they have been victims of domestic or sexual violence.
“It’s clear violence against women is far more widespread in the general population than we thought,” said Rachel Jewkes of South Africa’s Medical Research Council, who led the two studies. The research was paid for by several United Nations agencies and Australia, Britain, Norway and Sweden. The papers were published online Tuesday in the journal, Lancet Global Health.