UN: 'Shocking' data on rape

MANILA, Philippines - A United Nations-backed survey revealed "shocking" statistics on men's use and experience of violence against women and girls.

Preliminary results of the UN-backed study showed "one in two men said they used physical or sexual violence against an intimate partner, one in 4 reported having raped a woman and one in 25 admitted to having participated in gang rape."

The study, "Why do men use violence and how do we stop it? New evidence on men’s use of violence against women and girls and its uses for enhanced prevention," was based on a survey of more than 10,000 men from across six Asia Pacific countries (Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Sri Lanka), which the UN said is the largest such study so far.

It sought to understand the underlying factors on why men resort to violence, and to determine more effective ways to prevent violence.

Part of the survey was to ask the respondents about their "childhoods, relationships, health, sexual practices, gender attitudes and use of violence against women and girls."

Aside from the high number of men saying they have used violence against women, it also revealed they are most likely to have a "sense of entitlement to engage in sex without consent."

Past history of violence or abuse also is a factor, with men who experienced it in the past, especially during childhood, twice likely to do it themselves to other people.

Poverty, conflict

"The study’s preliminary findings also reinforce the need to address gender inequality as an underlying cause of violence," the UN said in a press release.

The study also revealed violence are most likely to occur in places of high poverty or hunger, or where conflict or violence is occurring.

Violence, however, is preventable, according to the study, showing that interventions done by governments and organizations can work.

The study, whose full output will be available in July this year, was co-sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO), and the governments of Australia and Sweden. For the UN, the agencies involved were UN Women, the UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and UN Volunteers.

The preliminary findings were first publicized during the 57th Commission on the Status of Women last March 8. - With reports from KD Suarez/Rappler.com