This sort of violence against women by their families and partners isn’t just “a Pakistani problem.” Take a quick global look at the numbers. Nearly 40 percent of murders of women around the world are committed by someone a woman knows intimately, according to the World Health Organization. That number is the same in the United States. A study published in 2013 by Science estimated that one in three women worldwide experiences violence at the hands of her partner at some point in her lifetime. “It is the most prevalent form of gender-based violence,” says Palermo.
But much of this violence goes unreported and unpunished globally. “With my colleagues, we estimated that among women who suffer various forms of violence, only 7 percent either report or seek services related to that violence,” Palermo says. “Most suffer in silence.”