Illustrative image (Source: asiapacific.unfpa.org)

Kuala Lumpur (VNA) – Indonesia said one third of local women have experienced physical or sexual abuse, following its first national survey on abuse against female citizens.

Thirty-three percent of polled women, aged between 15 and 64, or about 26 million people, said they have been abused.

The survey results showed that violence is most likely to occur to women with higher education and those who live in urban areas.

The UN Population Fund in Indonesia, which helped the government carry out the survey, urged prompt actions from authorities and communities.

It said the failure to act could cost the country, particularly through productivity losses.

The issue of violence against women hit headlines in Indonesia last year after a schoolgirl was gang-raped and murdered. The case provoked a public outcry, leading to the introduction of tougher punishments for sex offenders.

According to the UN Women, one in every three women in the world experiences physical or sexual violence and abused women are more likely to have an abortion, face depression, or get HIV.-VNA