committed against women or girls specifically because they are female.
VAW has a very long history, though the incidents and intensity of such violence has varied over time and even today varies between societies.
The UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women states, "violence against women is a manifestation of historically unequal power relations between men and women" and "violence against women is one of the crucial social mechanisms by which women are forced into a subordinate position compared with men."Violence against women and girls is a problem of pandemic proportions.
At least one out of every three women around the world has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime with the abuser usually someone known to her.
Abuse related to payment of bride price (such as violence, trafficking and forced marriage) is linked to parts of Sub-Saharan Africa and Oceania.
(Also see lobolo.) Certain regions are no longer associated with a specific form of violence, but such violence was common until quite recently in those places; this is true of honor-based crimes in Southern/Mediterranean Europe.In addition, the term gender-based violence refers to "any acts or threats of acts intended to hurt or make women suffer physically, sexually or psychologically, and which affect women because they are women or affect women disproportionately".Moreover, the definition stated by the 1993 Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women also supported the notion that violence is rooted in the inequality between men and women when the term violence is used together with the term 'gender-based.' In Recommendation Rec(2002)5 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on the protection of women against violence, the Council of Europe stipulated that VAW "includes, but is not limited to, the following":a.Such violence is often seen as a mechanism for the subjugation of women, whether in society in general or in an interpersonal relationship.Such violence may arise from a sense of entitlement, superiority, misogyny or similar attitudes in the perpetrator, or because of his violent nature, especially against women.violation of the human rights of women in situations of armed conflict, in particular the taking of hostages, forced displacement, systematic rape, sexual slavery, forced pregnancy, and trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation and economic exploitation.These definitions of VAW as being gender-based are seen by some to be unsatisfactory and problematic.The World Health Organization (WHO), in its research on VAW, has analyzed and categorized the different forms of VAW occurring through all stages of life from before birth to old age.In recent years, there has been a trend of approaching VAW at an international level through means such as conventions or, in the European Union, through directives (such as the directive against sexual harassment, and the directive against human trafficking).Many forms of VAW, such as trafficking in women and forced prostitution are often perpetrated by organized criminal networks.Histrorically, there have been forms of organized WAV, such as the Witch trials in the early modern period or the sexual slavery of the Comfort women.