People immediately shut down when they hear the word Gender based Violence (GBV), thinking it is overrated. Have you taken time to ask or read what it means? Let’s take a deep dive in into this discussion
Myths Surrounding GBV:
•The perpetrators of violence are a minority group of men with mental health issues. Violence may be perpetrated by those with mental health problems, but it is by no means a behavior related only to those who are mentally ill.
• Gender-based violence is caused by substance abuse such as alcohol and/or drugs. Substance abuse may precipitate violent behavior or make potential victims more susceptible to violence. It is important to note that neither alcohol or drugs or the victim should be blamed in these situations. Violence against women is totally unacceptable under all circumstances.
- Women allow themselves to be abused and sometimes put themselves in harm’s way. No one deserves to be abused. Perpetrators tactically control and abuse their victims that make it very difficult for them to escape especially when they have kids.
- Domestic violence is a private family matter, and a man treats his partner is a private matter. Violence against women is a human rights violation, regardless of whether it occurs in the family or in the public sphere
- Gender based violence happens to women thus it’s a women affair. It would shock you to know that men are also victims of Gender based violence
- Gbv happens only in Africa. This is totally wrong as Gender Based Violence is a global issue
What is Gender Based Violence (GBV)?
Gender based violence is an umbrella term for any harmful act that is perpetrated or carried out against a person’s will (male or female) and that is based on socially ascribed role differences(gender). It includes any harmful acts that inflicts physical, mental, sexual harm or suffering; threats, coercion and other deprivations of liberty whether occurring in public or private life.
GBV is a universal phenomenon whose practice cuts across all societies, irrespective of income, wealth, status, class, age or culture. Simply put, it can happen to anybody, both males and females, old or young.
We have 4 broad categories of GBV
- Non- Sexual Exploitation and Abuse: This forms the 5 types of GBV, Physical abuse, Psychological, Emotional, Socio economic abuse and Intimate Partner Violence (IPV).
- Sexual Exploitation and Abuse: is defined as any actual or attempted abuse of power or position of vulnerability, differential power or trust, for sexual purposes whether by force or under unequal coercive conditions.
- Work Place Sexual Harassment: simply put as unwanted or unwelcomed sexual advances, sexual jokes, inappropriate touching, sexual bribery, overt requests for sex, sexual favoritism, verbal or nonverbal conduct sexual in nature.
- Human Trafficking includes sexual slavery, coerced transactional sex, illegal transactional movement of people (recruited, kidnapped, sold) within or across borders to obtain economic profit by means of deception, coercion that violate fundamental human rights
Types of GBV
- Physical Abuse: involves physical beating, kicking, slapping, strangling, pulling of hair, choking, using o weapons on an individual, wife and husband battering.
- Psychological Abuse: includes insulting, yelling, constant criticism, discriminating, denying of opportunities, humiliation.
- Socio economic Abuse: involves deprivation of resources by a partner. Resources includes; food, money, hospital care and educational attainment. The victim is forced to depend om the perpetrator for support and care.
- Intimate Partner Violence: any harmful behavior exerted against a person by an intimate or ex- partner that causes physical, sexual or psychological harm
Underlying causes of GBV
GBV is not a singular incident, but an insidious problem deeply rooted in discriminatory cultural beliefs that perpetuates inequality and powerlessness, particularly for women and girls.
- Attitudes, beliefs, norms and structures that prompts and condone Gender Based Discrimination
- Power imbalance between males and females as a result of gender inequality
Reasons why GBV is Underreported
- Mistrust for authorities and weak legal structures
- Stigmatization / Name calling
- Victim blaming and shaming the victim
- Fear of the consequences- losing job, reputation, black listed by friends
- Fear for physical safety
- Denial and downplay of incidents as most people think it’s normal or not as serious