One in three women around the world have experienced either sexual or physical violence.
The majority of those affected experienced violence within their relationship but it can also be used as a war tactic.
International speakers are attending a conference on gender-based violence in Trinity College today.
Violence against women is endemic – with one in three women affected globally according to the United Nations.
Christian Aid Ireland says it’s particularly a problem in developing countries.
Chief executive Rosamond Bennett just returned from South Sudan.
“I spoke to a woman, we were talking about hunger, and she said people think happiness starts in the stomach – because that’s where you get your food – and she says ‘but for me, fear starts in the stomach’.
“‘The fear that I am going to raped when I’m going for firewood, or raped whenever my husband is away – that fear lives with me day in, day out'”.
Women are particularly at risk of sexual or physical violence in countries experiencing conflict.
Assistant Professor Aisling Swaine says it can be used as a war tactic.
“When I worked in Darfur we had evidence of the ways that the state and different parties to the conflict were attacking villages.
“They will separate men and boys from women and girls, they will sexually violate and rape women and girls for the purposes of ethnic cleansing and forced pregnancy, for example, and then kill the men and boys”.
Also speaking at the conference was Dr Chloe Schwenke, a transwoman.
She says transwomen in developing countries can experience horrific violence and exclusion.
“Physical violence, corrective rape they will call it, just stone-throwing humiliation, stigmatisation and then the structural violence of saying ‘you don’t exist'”.
Christian Aid hopes this conference will raise awareness of the gender based violence.
The organisation says work needs to be done with both the victims and the perpetrators of the violence to try and tackle the problem.