When it comes to statistics relation to violence against women and children it’s important to know that you don’t have to be expert in Math to understand the numbers. You simply have to be willing to recognize that each statistic represents a woman, child, or family- A LIFE- torn apart by violence and abuse.
The United Nations defines violence against women as “Any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely in, physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life. (United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, 1993)
Types of violence
Emotional and psychological abuse may include:
- Telling someone s/he is ugly
- Denial of love/affection/sex
- Refusing to help someone in need
- Name-calling, shouting at the person
- Damaging their favorite possessions (clothing, a pet)
- Threatening physical or sexual violence
- Insulting or cursing a person who has refused to have sex
- Writing threatening letters to someone after s/he ends a relationship
Physical violence may include:
- Slapping, beating, pinching, hair pulling, burning, strangling
- Threatening or attacking with a weapon or object
- Throwing objects at a person
- Physically confining a person (locking in a room or tying up)
- Ripping off clothes
Sexual violence may include:
- Beating a person to force him/her to have sex
- Touching a person’s sexual body parts against his/her will
- Using vulgar and abusive language to coerce someone into having sex
- Putting drugs into a person’s drink so that it is easier to have sex with him/her
- Refusing to use contraceptives or condoms
Violence against women (VAW) is any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women and girls, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life. Psychological, physical and sexual abuse can result in:
– Death due to intentional injury(murder)
||Sexual & Reproductive Health
– Sexual risk-taking
– Substance & alcohol abuse
– Anxiety & depression
– Disability (Blindness, etc.)
– Other physical symptoms
– STIs and HIV- Gynecological/ urological problems
– Unwanted pregnancy
– Unsafe abortion
– Pelvic inflammatory disease
– Sexual problems
Important points about violence and what to do about it
- Young people have the right to be free from violence. Violence is never justified.
- There is a tendency for victims of violence to feel that they are to blame for what happened to them. For example, a girl who is raped might think she caused it because she allowed some sexual activity such as kissing or because of the clothes that she wore. However, this does not mean that the violence was justified; there is no excuse for forcing someone to do something that can be harmful to his/her health against his/her will. Violence is never the victim’s fault.
- Women and men, girls and boys, all suffer from violence. In some cases, such violence is ‘random’ and not necessarily related to a person’s sex or gender, for example, being assaulted during a robbery or being in a fight with peers. More often however, violence is related to a person’s sex or gender. Girls and women are more likely to experience gender-based, sexual and domestic violence than boys and men.
- Young people should be empowered to clearly communicate what they want and do not want. Young people can:
- Give clear messages about what they want – only say yes if you want to have sex.
- Say no firmly, perhaps giving reasons for saying no that reinforce the message, if they don’t want to have sex.
- Meet people in public places so that they can always call for help if they need it.
- Avoid going out with someone who is aggressive or disrespectful.
- Seek help from a trusted adult to help address and leave a violent relationship.
- Avoid sexual activity after drinking or taking drugs since this can make a person less able to communicate what they want and do not want, or make them forget to use contraception.