What Is Gender-Based Violence?
Gender-based violence is a violence directed toward a person due to their gender.
While both men and women can be victims of gender-based violence, in the majority of
cases it affects women abused by men. According to the data published by The World Health Organization (WHO), about 30% of women worldwide have experienced intimate partner or non-partner violence in their lifetime. Due to the nature of this act of violence, gender-based violence is often named violence against women.
What are some types of gender-based violence?
Plan International lists various forms of gender-based violence. Some of them include:
❏ Intimate partner violence
❏ Physical, sexual, psychological and emotional violence
❏ Child marriage
❏ Female genital mutilation
❏ Trafficking for sex or slavery
The Main Causes of Gender-Based Violence
Gender-based violence is deeply rooted in gender inequality as well as power inequalities between men and women. Gender stereotypes and cultural norms in some countries, dictating that men are supposed to be dominant and aggressive, justify violent actions against women. Thus, the overall acceptance of these acts of violence prevents women from reporting the crime and others from intervening. In result, women are abused even in places like school or public transportation. Concern Worldwide, a humanitarian agency, states that hunger and war can lead to gender-based violence as well. In result, the arising tensions within families can lead to domestic violence. Additionally, in situations of poverty and financial crisis, families seek desperate solutions, forcing young girls to get married or sell sex to survive these challenging
The Office on Women’s Health lists the main laws on violence against women, including:
❏ Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 — a federal law providing support and services for victims of violence and sexual abuse. It offers, among other services, free sexual assault exams collecting DNA evidence, programs for women with disabilities and services to meet the needs of immigrant women and their children.
❏ The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act — federal funding stream providing shelters and related resources for victims of violence and their children. Other countries are taking actions as well. For instance, The Republic of South Africa has executed the Domestic Violence Amendment Act, protecting victims of domestic violence and strengthening the criminal justice processes.
How to Address Gender-Based Violence?
The more people are aware of the scale of the crime, the more actions will be taken to protect the victims, such as through executing more legislation acts. In order to make a difference, the professionals in our local communities, including those working in education sectors as well as the police and court officers, should be trained to address gender-based violence more effectively and provide the necessary support. Furthermore, there should be more affordable resources available to victims. An excellent example is The National Domestic Violence Hotline, providing a free 24/7 support to those who need it. Another essential part is addressing the needs of victims and their children through affordable healthcare and mental health services.
Mil Mujeres In Action
Mil Mujeres provides affordable legal services to those petitioning for immigration status, providing help especially to those who are victims of violent crimes in the United States. Our organization helps apply for U-Visa, an immigration benefit for victims of physical and mental abuse, petition for VAWA, allowing immigrant victims of domestic violence to apply for immigration relief, as well as apply for T-Visa, giving immigration relief to victims of human trafficking. We are proud that through Mil Mujeres’ mission we can become a part of the solution in fighting gender-based violence as well as in giving victims a chance for a better future in the United States.