Abuse

Gender Based Violence

Gender based violence (GBV) is a major public health, equality and human rights issue. It covers a spectrum of violence and abuse, committed primarily but not exclusively against women by men. This includes, but is not limited to:

  1. domestic abuse
  2. rape and sexual assault
  3. childhood sexual abuse
  4. stalking and harassment
  5. commercial sexual exploitation
  6. harmful practices – such as female genital mutilation, forced marriage and so-called ‘honour’ based violence.
illustration of a couple walking under street lights
illustration of a group of diverse women.

Gender inequality is a root cause of violence against women and girls. There are two factors globally that can impact this:

  1. Social norms supporting violence as a means of conflict resolution
  2. The unequal positions of women in relationships and society (violence can occur more frequently in societies where men are viewed as superior and hold the most power)

It is important however, to recognise that abuse also occurs in same sex relationships and can be experienced by transgender people. While men are at less risk of GBV, some men are abused in similar ways by other men and women. Similarly, many boys are sexually abused in childhood.

illustration of a man walking alone beside a road
Illustration of a woman walking alone under trees

Not everyone experiences the same level of risk. Factors such as age, financial dependency, poverty, disability, homelessness and insecure immigration status can heighten vulnerability to abuse or further entrap people experiencing abuse. Also, many people experience more than one form of abuse e.g. sexual violence and domestic abuse within relationships.

The physical, emotional and psychological consequences of GBV can be profound and damaging. They are predictors of poor health and strong risk factors for poor health outcomes.

Illustration of a house and trees.

Domestic Violence

“Domestic abuse as an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour, including sexual violence, in the majority of cases by a partner or ex-partner, but also by a family member or carer.”

Domestic abuse can be in many forms such as

  1. Coercive control
  2. Psychological and or emotional abuse
  3. Physical or sexual abuse
  4. Financial and economic abuse
  5. Harassment and stalking
  6. Online or digital abuse
illustration of a woman staring out the window

Domestic abuse is a gendered crime which is deeply rooted in the societal inequality between men and women. It is a form of gender-based violence, violence “directed against a woman because she is a women or that affects (women) disproportionately.” (CEDAW, 1992).

Women are more likely than men to experience multiple incidents of abuse, different types of domestic abuse (intimate partner violence, sexual assault and stalking) and in particular sexual violence. Any woman can experience domestic abuse regardless of race, ethnic or religious group, sexuality, class, or disability, but some women who experience other forms of oppression and discrimination may face further barriers to disclosing abuse and finding help.s.

Illustration of a group of diverse women

Accessing Support at College…

We all struggle with mental health at times – it is just like when we get sick. Trust your instincts – if you feel that you need help, then seek help. You know you best!

At the college you can access Together All. Together All is a safe online community that can help support your mental health, 24/7 through online resources, other members and trained professionals.

Illustration of a woman in a wheelchair sharing a coffee with another person