Violence and injury prevention

Interpersonal violence

Interpersonal violence is violence directed against another person and includes child maltreatment, elder maltreatment, intimate partner violence, sexual violence and youth violence. Homicides are down 34% since 2000 in the Region (more than double the global average reduction), yet 99 people are still murdered every day.

Deaths due to violence represent only a fraction of the total impact of violence and the prevalence of non-fatal violence in certain countries of the Western Pacific Region is among the highest in the world. Evidence shows that a quarter (24.6%) of women in low- and middle-income countries in the Region have experienced physical or sexual violence at the hands of an intimate partner. Prevalence of women's experience of intimate partner violence ranges from 15–68%. Other highly prevalent forms of violence include youth violence and child maltreatment. According to the Global School Health Survey, between 12–71% of children in select countries of the Region have been involved in a physical confrontation and 18%–74% have been recently bullied. In China, physical violence against children has been estimated at 26%, at the cost of more than US$ 50 billion every year.

Through the Global Status Report on Violence Prevention, WHO has quantified the burden of interpersonal violence and documented details of national responses including enforced legislation and evidence-based programmes for the various forms of interpersonal violence including "domestic violence" laws, firearms laws, adult and child protective services and medico-legal services for survivors of sexual violence.

Key facts

24.6%of women in low- and middle-income countries in the Western Pacific Region have experienced violence by an intimate partner.

Fact sheet on violence against women

Featured publications

Regional Action Plan for Violence and Injury Prevention in the Western Pacific (2016–2020)

Road safety in the Western Pacific Region 2015

Violence in the Western Pacific Region 2014


Violence and Injury Prevention
Division of NCD and Health through the Life-Course
World Health Organization
Regional Office for the Western Pacific
P.O. Box 2932
1000 Manila