One in every three women faces sexual or physical attacks, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Thursday.
An estimated 35 per cent of women around the globe face beatings or rape, very often by their own partners, the WHO said in the first comprehensive study on the issue.
Of female murder victims, 38 per cent are killed by their husbands or boyfriends, according to the report drawn up with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the South African Medical Research Council.
Victims often suffer from longer-term effects.
They run higher risks of becoming depressed, dependent on alcohol and infected with sexually transmitted diseases, said the researchers.
"These findings send a powerful message that violence against women is a global health problem of epidemic proportions," WHO Director General Margaret Chan said.
"We also see that the world's health systems can and must do more for women who experience violence," she added.
The WHO said health workers need to be trained better to detect violence against women, to help victims in a confidential manner and to deal with psychological trauma.
The UN organization is set to help countries introduce the new guidelines, starting in June in South-East Asia.
At 37.7 per cent, South and South-East Asia are the regions with the world's highest prevalence of such violence.
Women in Arab countries and Africa fare hardly better, facing a risk of around 37 per cent of being attacked.
In Latin America, the rate is nearly 30 per cent, while a quarter of women in Eastern Europe and Central Asia experience violence.
In North America, Western Europe, Japan and Oceania, the rate was estimated at 23 per cent. dpa al jln
Source: News Republic