Last edited: July 29, 2020

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Data on violence against women (VAW) has significant power to amplify the voices of women who have experienced violence. Data can tell the magnitude, causes and consequences of VAW, as well as associated factors and how women survivors seek help and the response they receive from support services. Data are critical in informing policies and programmes to address the issue.

Recent decades have seen international demands for more reliable, higher quality, and comparable data on VAW. Though much progress has been made since, many countries still lack high-quality or up-to-date data. Cross-country comparability remains a challenge to aggregate data and understand the phenomenon at the regional and global levels. Furthermore, data collection on VAW is not business as usual. Although standards and methodologies have been developed to collect data on some forms of VAW, these are lacking for other forms of violence and to monitor and assess the impact of legal, prevention and response measures. Furthermore, any VAW data collection, analysis and use effort should ensure it is done in line with ethical and safety standards, without putting women at higher risk of violence. There is therefore an urgent need to strengthen available knowledge on all forms of VAW, by improving countries’ capacities to collect, analyse and use data on VAW in accordance with globally agreed methodological, safety and ethical standards.

Relevant UN Agencies have been leading global, regional, and national efforts in partnership with Member States, academia and women’s rights organisations to collect reliable data, as a critical step for addressing VAW.