Violence Threatens Women’s Health
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Violence Threatens Women’s Health

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Sofía Garduño By Sofía Garduño | Journalist & Industry Analyst - Thu, 12/08/2022 - 12:47

The National Center of Equity, Gender and Reproductive Health of the Ministry of Health (CNEGSR) said that violence against women is a public health concern, with sexual aggression considered a medical emergency by the NOM 046-SSA2-2005. Health authorities are committed to keep working towards the elimination of this form of violence. 


“Violence against women is a public health problem; its consequences can be immediate and acute, but also permanent, chronic and even deadly, especially when women suffer from more than one type of violence over their lives,” said Karla Berdichevsky, Director General, CNEGSR.


It is estimated that 30 percent of the female global population has been subjected to either physical and/or sexual violence, as reported by WHOIn 2021, over 70 percent of Mexican women suffered at least one violent attack against them which could entail a psychological, economical, hereditary, physical, sexual or discriminatory aggression. In Mexico, 42.7 percent of crimes against women happen on the streets and 32.2 percent happen on public transportation, including sexual harassment and rape, as reported by INEGI.


“The violence suffered by a woman throughout her life impacts in a multidimensional way, not only emotionally and physically, but it also affects families, communities and the whole nation,” said Berdichevsky. For example, the health and wellbeing of children who grow up in violent households is affected and they can suffer from behavioral and emotional disturbances. Children of abused women are even more likely to die before they are five years old. Meanwhile, domestic violence is also a threat to economic development because women from abusive homes are likely to work fewer hours and be less productive when they do work, according to the IMF.


Violence affects women’s physical, mental, sexual and reproductive health and puts them at a higher risk of acquiring HIV, as reported by WHO. This situation is worrisome as only few women get or approach health services, according to IADB. During the last year, 30 percent of women who suffered from violence in Mexico neither reported the aggressions nor asked for support. Women who suffer from violence have to deal with long term health problems. They are also more likely to have unintended pregnancies and, consequently, subject themselves to unsafe abortions. 


“The health sector has an important role to play to provide comprehensive health care to women subjected to violence, and as an entry point for referring women to other support services they may need,” says WHO. For this reason, the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS), recently held the Impact of Gender Violence in Women’s Health colloquy to continue raising awareness on this issue and boosting the efforts of the Mexican health sector to eliminate violence against women.  

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