On August 10, 2012, President Barack Obama issued an Executive Order on Preventing and Responding to Violence Against Women and Girls Globally to advance the rights and status of women and girls, to promote gender equality in U.S. foreign policy, and to bring about a world in which all individuals can pursue their aspirations without the threat of violence.
Violence against women and girls cuts across ethnicity, race, class, religion, education level, and international borders. Although statistics on the prevalence of violence vary, the scale is tremendous, the scope is vast, and the consequences for individuals, families, communities, and countries are devastating.
An estimated one in three women worldwide has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime. Intimate partner violence is the most common form of violence experienced by women globally. Other forms of violence include human trafficking and, sexual violence (including its use as a tactic of war), and harmful traditional practices, such as early and forced marriage, female genital mutilation/cutting, and "honor" killings.