Gender Based Violence

What is Sexual and Gender Based Violence (GBV)?

Actual or threatened physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring within the family or in the community.

Sexual and other forms of gender based violence in crisis

Sexual and other forms of gender based violence are increasingly reported in situations of complex emergencies (e.g. armed conflict) The term sexual and other forms of sexual and gender based violence comprises not only rape and attempted rape, but also sexual abuse, forced early marriage, domestic violence, marital rape.

Why is there GBV?

  • Gender inequality and male dominant society
  • Discrimination
  • Breakdown of traditional social systems
  • Family separation – especially children and females
  • Less community support due to separation
  • Dependence on others for survival
  • Disruption of health systems
  • Problems in accessing secondary care level facilities in regard to managing physical and  psychological problems faced by women and children
  • Domestic violence
  • Sexual violence including sexual exploitation/ abuse and forced sex trade
  • Trafficking
  • Forced early marriage
  • Harmful traditional practices (Female Genital Mutilation, , widow inheritance, honour killings)
  • Mass rape
  • Genocide

Most common form of Violence against women is that performed by a husband or male partner. This type of violence is frequently invisible since it happens behind closed doors, and effective when legal system and cultural norms do not treat this as a crime, but rather as ‘private’ family matter, or a normal part of life.

Domestic abuse occurs when one person in the intimate relationship or marriage tries to dominate and control the other person. An abuser does not play fair. He or she uses guilt, fear, shame or intimidation to wear you down and gain complete power/ control over your relationship.It may threaten you, hurt you or do same to your family and loved ones around you.

When physical violence is also used it is called domestic violence.

Violence is the most direct form in which men can and are using their power over Women.

  1. Emotional/ Psychological abuse;
    Violence can be verbal or emotional. Therefore calling some one derogatory names or telling them they are stupid is a violent act, which can hurt as much as physical attack. Eg.Verbal (yelling, name calling, blaming, shaming/humiliating and threats to kill/harm you/children or family)
    Non verbal (isolation, intimidation, controlling behavior/ dominance)
    “Aims to reduce your feelings of self worth and independence”
  2. Physical abuse;
    Use of physical force (hitting, grabbing, choking, throwing objects, assault with weapon)
  3. Sexual abuse;
    A situation in which you are forced to participate in unwanted, unsafe or degrading sexual activity
  4. Economic/ financial abuse;
    Controlling finances
    Withholding money
    Giving only an allowance
    Making you account for every penny spent
    Exploiting assets for personal gain / use
    Withholding basic necessities for you and children (food, clothes, medication and shelter)
    Preventing you from working or choosing a career


  • Injuries to body
  • Acquiring sexually transmitted infections such as HIV/ AIDS
  • Unwanted pregnancy – unsafe abortion, maternal morbidity and mortality


  • Nervousness
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Phobias
  • Substance abuse
  • Depression
  • Social withdrawal
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Post traumatic stress disorder


  • Suicide
  • End in very low socio economic status
  • Few income generating opportunities (End up as Female sex workers)
  • Children of rape victims rejected by self and family, neglected and stigmatized
  1. Samatha Mandalaya in your area
  2. Police
  3. Medical officer of health (MOH) clinic – MOH(medical officer of health),PHM( public health mid wife ) and PHNS( public health nursing sister )
  4. Hospital in your area
  5. Women in Need (WIN)
  6. Social worker
  1. Few women suffer from gender based violence
    Truth – Many women do not know the services available for action against gender based violence. They are often afraid and have no access to money or transport. There are many women who live in fear.
  2. Sexual and GBV includes only physical abuse
    Truth – Mental abuse such as being told you are ugly, stupid or useless and being denied money also comes under gender based violence. Mental abuse leaves no bruising but is as terrifying and damaging as physical violence
  3. Domestic violence only affects certain kinds of people
    Truth – Women of all races, cultures and religions are affected.
  4. Violence is just a private family matter
    Truth – No, it is not. If you see any violence against women please report. It may be too late otherwise.
  5. Children are not affected when one parent abuses the other.
    Truth – Witnessing violence is a risk factor for long term physical and mental health problems in children such as substance abuse.

“It is Important to recognize Sexual & GBV early and intervene/ help or support these persons to make a STOP to these abuse/ violence and make arrangements to separate them from the abusive situations.”