Violence appears to be a universal human behavior, appearing in all societies in some form. Some types of violence are so common that throughout history (and continuing into the present) they have been sanctioned by society and government. Violence against women falls into this category. Laws have permitted it, society has looked away, and militaries have continued to use rape as a weapon of war. Battered women are those who experience intimate partner violence at the hands of a boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse. Intimate partner violence encompasses emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. This entry (a) reviews the basis of violence of women in gender inequality, (b) surveys the prevalence of battering internationally as reported in studies by the World Health Organization and in the United ...

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