1 in 14 Women have been a Victim of Sexual Violence

First Posted: Feb 12, 2014 01:05 PM EST

A recent study shows that an estimated 1 in 14 women worldwide are sexually assaulted by someone other than a partner.

Based on reviewed articles and reports published between 1998 and 2011, researchers examined international databases and surveys to find estimates on sexual violence against women, including girls older than 15.

According to Live Science, findings showed that 7.2 percent of women reported non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime.

"Sexual violence is a common experience for women worldwide, and in some regions is endemic, reaching more than 15 percent in four regions," said study researcher Naeemah Abrahams, from the South African Medical Research Council in Cape Town, via a press release.

The global picture of sexual violence varied greatly depending on different regions of the world. For instance, the highest rates of sexual violence tended to be seen in central and southern Sub-Saharan Africa, including parts of South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe, with 21 percent coming from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

New Zealand and Austria held lower rates of violence at 16 percent, with the United States and Canada coming in shortly after at 13. Western Europe followed then at 11.5 percent along with Eastern Europe at 8 percent.

The lowest rates, according to the news organization, were found in such places as Turkey, India and Bangladesh. However, the study authors note that the results are not entirely comprehensive as the necessary data was not available in all regions.

"These data probably underestimate the true magnitude of the issue because of the stigma and blame attached to sexual violence that leads to under-reporting," the researchers said.

The research included 77 studies along with 412 estimates of violence from 56 countries.

More information regarding the study can be found via the journal The Lancet.  

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