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Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 1996 Aug. 3 p. (Fact Sheet No. 128)The WHO Global Commission on Women's Health, a high level advocacy body which promotes women health issues nationally and internationally, focused on the issue of violence against women at its meeting in 1996. Violence against women has become widely recognized as a major issue of women's human rights; however, there has also been growing awareness of the impact of violence on women's mental and physical health. Studies have shown that the most pervasive form of gender violence is violence against women by their intimate male partners or ex-partners, including the physical, mental and sexual abuse of women and children and adolescents. Approximately 40 population-based quantitative studies conducted in 24 countries revealed a range of 20-50% of women being victims of physical abuse by their partners; 50-60% of them were raped as well. Victims of violence are likely to develop behaviors that are self-injurious, such as substance abuse and smoking.