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Population size: 

28,608,710 [1]

Number of people experiencing domestic abuse each year:

Women who have experienced physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence in their lifetime: 25%

Women who have experienced physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence in the last 12 months: 112% [2]

National-level data derived from various sources show that GBV and IPV are a latent problem in Nepal. According to the Nepal Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) 2011, 22% of women had experienced violence since they were15 years of age and among them 12% had experienced sexual violence (Government of Nepal, 2012b). Similarly, Lammichhane et al. (2011) conducted a cross-sectional study in 2009 among 1,296 young married women in four major ethnic groups and found that more than half (51.9%) reported having ever experienced some type of violence from their husband. Data from the DHS 2011 show that 84% of perpetrators in cases of domestic violence are the husband. The same report also shows that overall, one-third of married women in Nepal experience domestic violence from their spouse. Other data from the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers (2012) on rural districts found that estimates of IPV ranged from 30% to 81% depending on the district and type of IPV assessed (Government of Nepal, 2012a).

Of 1800 eligible participants, 455 (25.28%) were exposed to IPV. In multivariate analyses, low caste, wife employment, income stress, poor marital communication, quarrelling, husband drunkenness, exposure to IPV as a child, in-law violence, and gender inequitable normative expectations were associated with IPV. [4]

According to the Demographic and Health Survey,28% of women reported lifetime exposure to physical and/or sexual IPV, and half of these women (14%) reported exposure in the prior 12months. However, only 23% report help-seeking (Ministry of Health and Population (MOHP) [Nepal], New Era et al., 2012); [5]

A 2012 study by the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers indicated that 48 % of respondents had experienced violence and 28 % in the past 12 months [8]. However, in another study in Dang and Surkhet indicated 81 % incidence while 51 % incidence in another study done in Nepal [18, 20]. Wide variation in the prevalence across studies stressed the importance of conducting additional studies on similar topic because of contextual variability of violence. Sexual violence reported in this study is remarkably lower than other similar studies [9] and it might be due to the underreporting in rural settings where people generally don’t complain about male members at any cost because of cultural norms and are scared to expose their personal issues. Comparable findings were found in a study conducted in Kathmandu, where corresponding figures for physical, psychological and sexual violence were 16.7, 35.5 and 3.6 % respectively [14]. Results of our study largely corroborate the findings from Nepal and all over the world such as in India, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Iran etc [24–27]. [6]

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:

The Women’s Rehabilitation Centre in Nepal, reported 465 cases of GBV between March 24 and May 29, 2020. The number is likely to grow after more organizations make their GBV data public. A study published in the Kathmandu Post writes: “Every ten minutes, a woman somewhere in Nepal dials 1145, the helpline operated by the National Women Commission (NWC), seeking assistance. The majority of these calls are made by survivors of domestic violence who are either looking to report incidents of abuse or calling to inquire about the support services offered by the group.” [7]

Current law and policy

Nepal commits to implement National Plan of Action to promote gender equality and end violence against women and girls.

The Government of Nepal is committed to investing in gender equality and women's empowerment to tackle the root causes of violence against women and girls. The Government will strive to provide adequate public resources to implement existing laws and policies to end violence against women, including the Foreign Employment Policy and the recently adopted National Strategy and Plan of Action Related to Gender Empowerment and Ending Gender Based Violence. The Strategy, among other measures, sets forth provisions for zero tolerance against violence, one stop crisis management centre for the protection of survivors/victims, gender mainstreaming in economic and social development related programmes and greater access to justice, such as free legal aid and fast track courts. The Government believes that enhancing women's economic empowerment, by ensuring women's rights to own land and property, to inheritance, equal pay for equal work, and safe and safe and decent employment, as well as mobilizing men and boys to foster equality and take a firm stand against violence against women and girls, are central to preventing the pandemic of violence against women and girls.

Frontline Services:



[1] The World Bank, (1).

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



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