Violence against women and girls is an unacceptable violation of basic human rights. It also is so widespread that ending it must be a global public health priority.
An estimated one in three women is beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused by an intimate partner during her lifetime. Intimate partner violence has been shown to increase the risk of HIV infection by around 50%, and violence (and the fear of violence) deters women and girls from seeking services for HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.
Achieving zero tolerance for violence against women and girls is one of the main priorities for MAP, because until that happens, we will never see the end of the AIDS epidemic. Women living with HIV who themselves have experienced violence know better than most how essential it is to address both of these issues together.
The goals of seeing the end of the AIDS epidemic, realizing total gender equality and achieving zero tolerance for violence complement each other, and they all demand a place in the post-2015 development agenda. This is an opportunity to ensure that all women and girls reach their full potential, without the threat of violence, the risk of HIV or the violation of their sexual and reproductive rights.
Men play a key role in standing up against violence, as husbands and partners, brothers and sons. No one can tackle it alone—all must reach for shared dignity, mutual respect and a renewed commitment to end violence against women and girls