Violence against women is recognised internationally as a human rights violation:
“the elimination of violence against women in public and private life is a human rights obligation” – “this form of violence impedes the ability of women and girls to claim, realize and enjoy their human rights on an equal foot with men”
And human rights violations are one of the recognised causes of displacement – whether internationally (leading to refugees) or within countries (leading to Internally Displaced Persons – IDPs).
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs publishes the “Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement”, highlighting the distinctive issues around internal displacement:
“Unlike refugees, the internally displaced have not left the country whose citizens they normally are. As such, they remain entitled to the same rights that all other persons in their country enjoy. They do, however, have special needs by virtue of their displacement.”
The UNOCHA specifically lists human rights violations as one of the causes of internal displacement:
“The reasons for flight may vary and include armed conflict, situations of generalized violence, violations of human rights, and natural or human-made disasters.”
So, it is clear that internal displacement due to violence against women is within these definitions. That forced displacement of women and children due to domestic violence creates internally displaced persons (IDPs).
But, time and again, the focus of data and action on Internal Displacement is only on the other causes – armed conflict, generalised violence, natural or human-made disasters.
The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre collects and maps data on displacement events – but the categories of the map are only Conflict, Disaster and Development.
map for the last 30 days only shows events caused by Conflict or Disaster:
The map for the last 90 days also shows a few displacements caused by Development:
But there is no mapping here of human rights violations causing displacement.
The UK shows some Disaster displacement – and current news reports are full of people being forced from their homes due to flooding. But there is no mention of the tens of thousands of women and children forced from their homes due to domestic violence – the tens of thousands of domestic violence IDPs in the UK.
 Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN Human Rights) https://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Women/Pages/VaW.aspx
 Handbook for applying the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement (UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 1999, p. 5) http://www.unhcr.org/en-us/protection/idps/50f94df59/handbook-applying-guiding-principles-internal-displacement-ocha-november.html