An international study on domestic violence by the UN's health body, the World Health Organization, says it is the most common form of violence against women. Here are some of the testimonies given to WHO researchers, who spoke to 24,000 women in 10 countries. Readers may find some of the accounts disturbing.
One day he returned home very late. I asked him "You are so late, where did you go?" He answered, "I went to the red-light zone. Do you have any problems with that?"
I started shouting at him and he instantly landed a blow on my right eye. I screamed and he grabbed my hair and dragged me from one room to another while constantly kicking and punching me.
He did not calm down at that... he undid his belt and then hit me as much and as long as he wanted. Only those who were hit with a belt know what it is like.
It hurts so bad. I felt his action told the world he no longer wanted me, he was indifferent. Yet, I remained. I had nowhere else to go.
I was concerned with my kids. Without them, I would have left a long time ago. I would take the risk. It would have been better than being constantly insulted.
I would take a blanket with me and spend the night out in the cold with my children, because he beat me quite frequently. I usually had to take out my children to prevent him from beating them as well.
I have slept like this more than 10 times. Every time he came home drunk, I tried to hide wherever I could, even in the dog house, and he would not find me. My children wouldn't move, they would keep quiet.
I have a tumour in my vagina. Despite this my husband would forcefully have intercourse with me.
I suffer a lot when this happens. Sometimes I have vaginal bleeding. He wouldn't let me remove the tumour as he believes he wouldn't be able to have intercourse once I have an operation.