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Population size: 

112,078,730 [1]

Number of people experiencing domestic abuse each year:

Women who have experienced physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence in their lifetime: 28%

Physical and/or Sexual Intimate Partner Violence in the last 12 months against women: 20%

Lifetime Non-Partner Sexual Violence against women: Official National Statistics Not Available. [2]

No research on male victims or other gender identities.

Cost of domestic abuse to the economy each year:

No research.

Estimated % change due to COVID-19:

Increase but no data. [3]

Current law and policy:

Ethiopia has commited to domestic violence reduction strategies, but has not created a system for measuring their implementation or progress.

Marital rape, gang rape and acid attacks are not criminalised in Ethiopia. The absence of criminalising marital rape, according to the government, is because it would be a ‘violation of its traditional norms and the sanctity of family’. Domestic violence is illegal, but government enforcement of laws is inconsistent. Such attitudes are consistent with public attitudes of accepting domestic violence. According to WHO (2005), 71% of women have experienced domestic violence in their lifetime, and there is no indication these figures have declined.

The government has announced campaigns to end gender-based and domestic violence, but has failed to provide information on the implementation or results of these programs. In 2017, it implemented the Strategic Plan for an Integrated and Multi-Sectoral Response on Violence Against Women and Children centring upon creating reporting and response mechanisms, but has not updated its implementation or achievements. Further, the 2009 Ethiopian Charities and Societies Proclamation has restricted all rights-based organisations to provide support where the government has fallen short.

During the COVID-19 pandemic the number of confirmed domestic violence cases has increased by 25-30%. The government has taken initial steps on educational awareness campaigns through disseminating information to women.

Frontline Services:



[1] The World Bank, (1).

[2] UN Women, “Global Database on Violence Against Women – Ethiopia”, (

Further Reading



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