The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) are urging Latin America and the Caribbean countries to take “specific steps” to respond to violence against women.

PAHO and the WHO have issued a new manual coinciding with the International Day of Elimination of Violence against Women on Saturday.

The document, “Strengthening health systems to respond to women subjected to intimate partner violence or sexual violence: A manual for health managers,” builds on other tools to help health care systems provide “compassionate and effective services” to survivors that address the consequences of violence and help reduce its reoccurrence.

PAHO’s Regional Advisor on Family Violence, said this is considered urgent because at least one of every three women aged 15 to 49 in Latin America and the Caribbean have experienced physical or sexual violence by a partner.

A new United Nations report says Latin America and the Caribbean is the most violent region in the world for women. In the report, UN Women and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) found that assaults on women persisted in the region despite severe laws aimed at curbing such.

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