In­tim­ate part­ner vi­ol­ence

Physical and sexualised violence by a trusted partner or family member is the most common form of violence against women.

Worldwide, 120 million women and girls have been forced by their partner to engage in sexual intercourse or other sexual acts. x Such violence is perpetrated predominantly by men. An Australian study on intimate partner homicides found that over 80 percent of the perpetrators were men. x

A so­cial prob­lem with sys­tem­atic causes

Intimate partner violence is a social problem with systematic causes. These include unequal power relations, discriminatory gender stereotyping and social indifference. 

Intimate partner violence also has cross-generational effects. Girls who experience violence in their families are twice as likely to experience partner violence themselves later. For boys, the risk of later perpetrating violence increases. 

Fact: The most common form of violence against women worldwide is physical and/or sexualized violence by a trusted partner (intimate partner violence).

In­tim­ate part­ner vi­ol­ence

  • Killing by partners / family
  • Killing by strangers

More than half of all homicides against women (50,000 annually, with an upward trend) are committed by partners or family members. x

The com­mit­ment of Ger­man de­vel­op­ment co­oper­a­tion

German development cooperationsupports partner countries in their attempts to give women affected by sexualised and gender-specific violence better access to justice and to high-quality services.

Partner countries are also supported in actively and critically addressing traditional social norms and gender stereotypes and in working specifically towards reducing existing structural inequalities. Including boys and men in these efforts is also important.

Detailed, intersectional data collection is also vital in delivering reliable figures on the status quo and starting points to enable effective change to occur. While data collection is important, systematic qualitative research is equally essential to identify changes in behaviour and attitudes and to understand relationships and societal dynamics.


  1. Source: The World’s Women (2015) (opens in a new window)
  2. Source: The World’s Women (2015) (opens in a new window)
  3. Source: UN (2015): The World’s Women 2015: Trends and Statistics (opens in a new window), S. 139.