The World's Shame

The Global Rape Epidemic - How laws around the world are failing to protect women and girls from sexual violence

Around the world, rape and sexual abuse are everyday violent occurrences -- affecting close to a billion women and girls over their lifetimes. However, despite the pervasiveness of these crimes, laws are insufficient, inconsistent, not systematically enforced and, sometimes, promote violence.To get to the bottom of these legal failures, Equality Now teamed up with international legal professionals to look into rape and sexual assault laws in 82 jurisdictions within 73 UN member states. Finalized Februrary 2017, Equality Now's advocacy report aims to spark a global conversation on sexual violence. The findings illustrate that governments still have a long way to go to transform their laws, policies and practices into instruments to a) prevent sexual violence, b) provide better access to justice for victims (including specialised services) and c) effectively punish sexual violence crimes.The report also provides links to active Equality Now country campaigns so that everyone can Take Action to urge relevant government officials to amend sex discriminatory laws. Learn more about our campaign to address the global rape epidemic.

Equality Now particularly thanks the International Bar Association, Advocates for International Development, Union Internationale des Avocats, Ashurst LLP, Stephen Denyer from the Law Society of England and Wales and the UCLA/WORLD Policy Analysis Center for their partnership and support.