Vienna, 19 May 2015 - The following is a statement by Yury Fedotov, UNODC Executive Director:
Women and girls continue to be killed in large numbers around the world. Based on estimates from UNODC at least 43,000 women were murdered by their intimate partners or family members in 2012.
These murders, however, are only the most visible and brutal sign of what is happening to millions of women. Hidden from our view are the dreadful daily experiences of violence, including terrible sexual violence, that blights the lives of women and girls. Such experiences occur in the countryside and in cities alike; as well as in schools, work places and especially the home.
We must also acknowledge that, just as no society is immune from these violent acts, we are all part of the solution. No woman or young girl must be allowed to feel isolated or in danger. This means promoting inclusive societies that not only provide women with much needed security, but also offers them opportunity, equality and prosperity.
UNODC is working to unravel the gender bias that has been woven into many legislations and criminal justice systems and which perpetuates impunity for these violent acts. Our work encourages all those in the criminal justice system to respect and protect women and girls and to view domestic violence as a serious crime.
Violence against women and girls, in all its many forms, shames us all. To end this serious crime, we must all work in a spirit of partnership and cooperation to change laws, change perceptions and change behaviours. If not, we will continue to see this violent crime undermine our efforts to build better, more inclusive societies.
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