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Last Updated: Friday, 5 March, 2004, 10:56 GMT
Amnesty plea for violence victims
Abuse survivor Kavira Muraulu
Abuse survivor Kavira Muraulu was raped in DR Congo
Violence against women is a "cancer" in every society affecting at least one in three women, human rights body Amnesty International has said.

Amnesty's secretary general Irene Khan urged governments to enforce laws to stop attacks on women and girls.

She was launching the pressure group's global campaign 'Stop Violence Against Women', in London.

It aims to tackle abuses ranging from genital mutilation and so-called honour killings to domestic violence and rape.

Female genital mutilation is one of the abuses being targeted by Amnesty

VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
One in three women will suffer violence in their lifetime
Two million girls aged 5-15 are introduced to the sex market each year
Marital rape is recognised as a crime in only 51 countries
70% of female murder victims are killed by male partners
Source: Amnesty International

The organisation says it affects 135 million globally, and these cases, along with so-called honour killings, should be treated as human rights crimes by governments.

The report highlights several individual cases, such as Kavira Muraulu, from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Kavira, a farmer in her 50s, is from North Kivu province. She was raped and then attacked again when she complained, the report says.

'Tackle abuse'

Ms Khan said Amnesty wanted to tackle abuse in areas of war and conflict as well as the domestic arena. She said: "As a human rights organisation we will mobilise our members and supporters around the world. Men must play a crucial part if we are to end violence against women.

"Violence is not normal, legal nor acceptable and should never be tolerated or justified. It can and must be stopped."

The report and campaign come ahead of International Women's Day on Monday.


SEE ALSO:
Domestic violence rates 'high'
01 Mar 04  |  Health


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