475,000 people were murdered in 2012, making homicide the third leading cause of death for men between the ages of 15 and 44, according to this report.

This is a 16% decrease since 2000 but non-fatal violence remains widespread, taking a particular toll on women and children.

One in four children has been physically abused; one in five girls has been sexually abused; and one in three women has been a victim of physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence at some point in her lifetime.

Jointly published by WHO, the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the “Global status report on violence prevention 2014” is the first report of its kind to assess national efforts to address interpersonal violence, namely child maltreatment, youth violence, intimate partner and sexual violence, and elder abuse.

Individual country profiles reflect the extent to which key violence prevention programmes and laws and selected services for victims of violence are being implemented.

Key findings include:

  • one half of countries are implementing school-based programmes to teach children and adolescents “life-skills” such as non-violent conflict resolution;
  • one half of countries are promoting efforts to change gender norms supportive of violence against women
  • one third of countries are putting in place programmes to improve parenting in families at risk of violence;
  • less than one quarter of countries are developing public information campaigns to prevent elder abuse.

The Global status report on violence prevention 2014 calls for a scaling up of violence       prevention programmes in all countries; stronger legislation and enforcement of laws relevant for violence prevention; strengthened justice and security institutions to uphold the rule of law; and enhanced services for victims of violence. It also advocates for better and more effective use of data to inform violence prevention programming and to measure progress.The report is intended for use by governments to help identify gaps and encourage and guide actions and by nongovernmental organizations and experts to assist governments in their efforts.

To read the full report, click here on www.who.int