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Population size

54,045,420 [1]

Number of people experiencing domestic abuse each year:

Women who have experienced physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence in their lifetime:17%

Physical and/or Sexual Intimate Partner Violence in the last 12 months against women: 11% [2]

In its 2018 report, the Mission found that ethnic Rakhine women and girls were subjected to rape and other forms of sexual violence by Tatmadaw forces, especially high ranking officers, between 2011 and up until the “clearance operations” against the Rohingya that began on 25 August 2017. 220 Incidents of sexual and gender-based violence have primarily taken place in the context of forced labour 221 or in heavily militarized areas. [3]

Breaking the Devil’s Silence: Sexual Violence in Myanmar report. In 2015-16, a demographic and health survey took place across the states and regions, and it included questions on sexual violence. The study interviewed 632 girls aged 15- 19 and found that 1 percent of that age group had experienced sexual violence in their lifetime, with 0.7 percent responding that they had experienced sexual violence in the past 12 months. In 2014, a qualitative study by Gender Equality Network that included interviews with 40 women from Yangon, Mandalay and Mawlamyine showed the seriousness of the problem, as half of the sample said they were raped or sexually assaulted in the past.

Behind the Silence Violence Against Women and their Resilience Myanmar report. An oft-cited report by the Myanmar National Committee for Women’s Affairs, reportedly conducted in all states and divisions across Myanmar, says that between 4 to 21 percent of women reported experiencing mental violence and between 3 to 15 percent of women reported experiencing physical violence (Kyu 2004).4 Another randomized household survey conducted in Mandalay asked behaviour specific questions and found that 69 percent of women reported experiencing psychological, physical and/or sexual violence in the past twelve months. The prevalence of women’s reported experiences of only physical violence in the past twelve months was 27 percent (Kyu and Kanai 2005).5 A community-based screening survey in Yangon found that 19 percent of women reported experiencing violence directly, and 53 percent knew women within their communities or families who experienced violence (NCA, DSW and MMCWA 2013). In the ethnic Palaung region, survey results showed that 90 percent of participants had ‘experienced or seen physical violence within families in their communities’, and 62 percent of respondents experienced or witnessed physical violence within the family on a daily basis (PWO 2011). The wide variance of prevalence is likely due to use of different methodologies and different definitions of violence against women across studies. [4]

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:

No research.

Current law and policy:

Mediation remains a key remedy which is often an unfair way of remedying domestic abuse because of the social pressure the woman may be put under. A ‘National Prevention and Protection of Violence Against Women law; was first proposed in 2013 but remains stuck at the drafting stage. The Myanmar Penal Code is vague and rarely used to prosecute cases of domestic violence; narrow definition of rape and excludes martial rape; enforcement of the law is weak, especially in more rural areas.