Alliances for Africa::: AFA The power to end Gender Based Violence lies within our collective voices.

Gender-Based Violence

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Gender-Based Violence: Breaking the Cycle, Building a Safe Community

Gender-Based Violence (GBV) is an overwhelming global emergency affecting girls and women throughout history. It refers to harmful acts directed at an individual based on their gender. Gender is a social construct that defines characteristics of women, girls, men and boys. GBV is a constant threat for girls and women around the world regardless of their age, race, or socioeconomic status as they are at risk everywhere and anywhere — at work, at school, and at home.

Types of GBV

Physical Violence:

A type of abuse that involves the use of physical force against a person causing injury, bodily harm or other physical suffering. It involves hitting, kicking, pushing, biting, choking, throwing objects, and using weapons, female genital mutilation, harmful widowhood practices.

Verbal Violence:

This is a violence that is perpetrated orally. It includes constantly putting a person down in private of in front of others, ridiculing, sex jokes, use of swear-words that are especially uncomfortable for the other, saying bad things about the other's loved ones, threatening with other forms of violence, either against the victim or against somebody dear to them. Verbal abuse may be relevant to the background of the victim, such as their life experience, religion, culture, language or traditions.

Depending on the most emotionally sensitive areas of the victim, abusers often consciously target these issues in a way that is painful, humiliating and threatening to the victim.

Psychological Violence:

Psychological violence is compatible with physical violence or verbal violence. Psychological include using restraints or confinements, restraining them with drugs or alcohol, withholding basic needs, such as food, clothing, or medical care, abandonment and neglect.

Sexual Violence:

This refers to any sexual activity done or pre-meditated when consent is not obtained or freely given. This refers to crimes like sexual assault, sexual harassment, rape, defilement or child abuse, incest, sexual exploitation. The perpetrator of sexual violence is usually someone the survivor knows, such as a friend, current or former intimate partner, co-worker, neighbour, or family member.

Online violence:

is the use of online digital devices or services to engage in activities that result in physical, psychological, emotional self-harm or cause harm to another person. It can take many forms: cyber-harassment, revenge porn, threats of rape, posting or sharing sexual pictures of someone without their consent, or non-consensual sexting.

Socio-Economic Violence:

Any act or behaviour which causes economic harm to an individual. Economic violence can take the form of, for example, property damage, restricting access to financial resources, education or the labour market, or not complying with economic responsibilities, such as alimony.Typical forms of socio-economic violence include taking away the earnings of the victim, not allowing them to have a separate income (giving them housewife status, or making them work in a family business without a salary), or making the victim unfit for work through targeted physical abuse, taking away their sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR)

is an essential building block to achieving gender equality.

Families everywhere are trapped in cycles of poverty because they do not have the option to plan when to have children or decide how big they want their family to be. Meanwhile, communities that do not categorize rape or incest as a grave crime put the lives of women and girls at risk when they impose pregnancies on them.

Access to full, comprehensive health care that includes sexual and reproductive health can change the course of a person's life and set them up to reach their full potential. This is because:

  • 1. They can decide whether or not to reproduce
  • 2. They have the choice to keep or not to keep a pregnancy especially when their health and life is at risk
  • 3. They have the right to a healthy sexual lifestyle and living
  • 4. They have the right to safe procedures, facilities and professionals
  • 5. Knowledge about Sexual and reproductive health and rights prevents unintended pregnancies, improve maternal health, and prevent STIs including HIV/AIDS
  • 6. Access to SRHR is proven to improve health and well-being, reduce poverty and inequality, while also promoting economic growth and positively impacting families for generations.