Target 5.2
Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation


Indicator 5.2.1
Proportion of ever-partnered women and girls (aged 15-49) subjected to physical and/or sexual violence by a current or former intimate partner, in the last 12 months

Why is this indicator necessary within the UK context?
On average, 8% of women in England and Wales suffer from IPV each year, and 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes (Refuge, 2014). Domestic abuse is noted to be an act that is disproportionately experienced by women, as 89% of all those who had experienced 4 or more incidents of domestic violence were women. Furthermore, in 2011, the ONS reported that 2 women are killed every week in England and Wales by a current or former partner. The following graph, by the Crime Survey for England and Wales, presents data on the prevalence of intimate violence experienced by women, demonstrating the higher levels of IPV in comparison to intimate violence carried out by people other than an intimate partner:
(ONS, 2014. Crime Survey for England and Wales Intimate Partner Violence and Partner Abuse)

The Girls Attitudes Survey (2015) by Girlguiding found that two in three (67%) girls aged 7-21 agree that popular culture and society tells boys that they are entitled to coerce or abuse their girlfriends. The survey showed that “girls feel that fear of emotional, physical or sexual harm can motivate behaviour in relationships, and can influence how they live their lives” (Girlguiding, 2015, p17), and that 13% of girls aged 13 to 21 have experienced their partner displaying controlling or coercive behaviour towards them.


Indicator 5.2.2
Proportion of women and girls (aged 15-49) subjected to sexual violence by persons other than an intimate partner, since age 15

Why is this indicator necessary within the UK context?
Sexual violence is highly prevalent in the UK, where 19.1% of women and 2.7% of men having experienced sexual assault (including attempts) since the age of 16 (ONS, 2014). The majority of these were acts of includes sexual threats, indecent exposure, and unwanted sexual touching, which are classed as less serious sexual assaults. Therefore, almost 1 in 5 females in the UK have reported being a victim of some form of sexual violence since the age of 16.

A report by the Ministry of Justice, Home Office, and ONS in 2013 states that around 1 in 20 females (aged 16 to 59) in the UK have reported being a victim of a most serious sexual offence, since the age of 16. The report estimates that, within the previous 12 months of the study, “0.5 per cent of females have been victim to the most serious offences of rape or sexual assault by penetration”, which is “equivalent to around 85,000 victims on average per year” (Ministry of Justice, Home Office, and ONS, 2013, p6).

This report suggests that young women are most at risk of sexual abuse, where 6.7% of women aged between 16 and 19 reported sexual violence compared to 2.0% of women aged between 25 and 34 (Ministry of Justice, Home Office, and ONS, 2013). Furthermore, compared with older age groups, women aged between 16 and 19 and aged between 20 and 24 were more likely to be victims of stalking. This paints a picture in which young women face distinct risks of sexual abuse, perhaps due to the emergence of online methods of sexual violence, such as online grooming or posting nude images online without consent.

Notably, The Girls Attitudes Survey (2015) by Girlguiding showed that three quarters of girls aged 7-21 who were surveyed say “anxiety about sexual harassment negatively affects their lives – whether it’s their choice of clothing (51%), their body confidence (49%) or their freedom to go where they want on their own (43%)”.

 

References