Violence against women and girls when who are confined to a location where their rights are controlled. 

Additional notes and information

Custodial violence against women in police cells, prisons, social welfare institutions, immigration detention centres and other State institutions constitutes violence perpetrated by the State.

Sexual violence, including rape, perpetrated against women in detention is considered a particularly egregious violation of the inherent dignity and the right to physical integrity of human beings and accordingly may constitute torture.

Other forms of violence against women in custody that have been documented by various sources include: inappropriate surveillance during showers or undressing; strip searches conducted by or in the presence of men; and verbal sexual harassment. The control wielded by correctional officers over women’s daily lives may also result in violence through demands for sexual acts in exchange for privileges, goods or basic necessities.

Although instances of custodial violence against women are reported in countries all around the world, there is little quantitative data to establish the prevalence of such violence across countries.


United Nations (2006). In-Depth Study on All Forms of Violence against Women. Report of the Secretary-General. UN Document A/61/122/Add.1.