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An Online Resource Library on Gender-Based Violence.

Millions of girls forced into sex yet only 1 in 100 seek help - U.N.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

By Lee Mannion

"LONDON, Nov 1 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - At least 15 million teenage girls worldwide have been forced into sex - often by partners, relatives or friends - yet only one in 100 sought help, the United Nations said on Wednesday.

Cameroon had the highest rate of sexual violence, with one in six teenage girls experiencing forced sex, the U.N.'s children's agency (UNICEF) said in a report which examined data from more than 40 countries.

'This idea of women being at the disposal of men is a big factor driving the experience of sexual violence of girls,' report author Claudia Cappa told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

In the majority of cases, the abuser was known to the victim - with acts of sexual violence carried out by husbands, boyfriends, family members, friends and classmates.

UNICEF said widespread sexual violence against teenage girls could hinder global progress towards achieving the U.N.'s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - a plan to end poverty, hunger, achieve gender equality and protect the planet by 2030.

The number of girls who have been forced to have sex is likely to be far higher than 15 million as many are reluctant to come forward and data is lacking in many countries, it said."

Read the full article here.