Violence Against Women (VAW) is a global problem affecting many women and girls worldwide. VAW is often culture and context specific and has many individual and societal implications. Yet, there are similarities in the dynamics of VAW across all cultures. The documents included in this section highlight these differences and similarities and present information about the global prevalence and forms of VAW, as well as its costs and consequences. Here the documents are arranged by studies and reports that are global in nature and those that have a regional focus. Regional studies and reports were available for only some regions. For example, studies from Africa non-conflict regions were not available. Also included here are studies and reports of VAW in conflict-affected areas, although it is important to note that VAW that are unrelated to conflict also exists in these areas and must not be overlooked.
On August 10, 2012, President Obama issued an Executive Order on Preventing and Responding to Violence Against Women and Girls Globally to further enhance the Administration's efforts to advance the rights and status of women and girls, to promote gender equality in U.S. foreign policy, and to bring about a world in which all individuals can pursue their aspirations without the threat of violence. The order creates an interagency working group co-chaired by the Secretary of State and the Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and directs departments and agencies to implement the new United States Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-based Violence Globally (August 2012).