What you should know about Gender-Based Violence

Gender-based violence can be described in the simplest form as a form of violence directed towards an individual due to the person’s gender. It can be said to be a form of denial of some basic human rights as a result of the individual’s gender identity.

According to research, popular forms of gender-based violence include; child trafficking, female genital mutilation, domestic violence, humiliation, insults, rape, etc.

Causes of Gender-Based Violence

1. False myths and wrong mindset: 

The false myth that asserts a gender’s inferiority as normal or regarded with little or no respect is one of the causes of gender-based violence. Also, the notion of masculinity linked to dominance, honour, and aggression that subdues female rights being seen as proper in society contributes to gender-based violence.

2. Peer pressure: 

Associating oneself with peers who condone violence can also predispose an individual to be a perpetrator of violence. The feeling of not wanting to be the odd one most times leads an individual into being violent.

3. Exposure to drugs: 

Drugs that affect the cognitive functions of an individual, such as alcohol, excessive use of cocaine, etc., can impair a person’s rationality and conscience, leading him/her to execute violence against others.

4. Poverty, one of the major causes of gender-based violence:

Lack of proper education, inappropriate access to the basic needs of life such as food, shelter, and clothing can increase an individual’s exposure to gender-based violence.

5. Being a previous victim of GBV can also expose one to carrying out gender-based violence. 

Once abused as a child or having witnessed marital violence in the home sometimes creates a dysfunctional way of thinking and seeing these things as being normal. Having such a view of life is a risk factor for the person to recreate the violence. Only this time, they are the criminal. 

Other causes include war, power imbalance, greed, lust, illiteracy, etc.

Effects of Gender-Based Violence.

While an individual can be a direct victim of gender-based violence, it’s important to take cognizance that the effects on an individual will eventually extend to society as a whole. Possible effects include:

woman crying
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1. Psychological trauma: 

Being in a state of physical wellness alone should not be regarded as sound health. It must involve the wholesome state of the physical, emotional, and social being of the individual. Most victims of gender-based violence never recover from the traumatic experience. There is, thus, the need to properly monitor the mental health of individuals who have experienced GBV to prevent a state of depression.

2. Death/suicide: 

In some critical cases, GBV can lead to death.

3. Exposure to Diseases: 

Diseases, such as HIV/AIDS and other forms of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), can be contracted during assaults involving the reproductive organs. 

4. Physical disability: 

Gender-based violence that involves the use of harmful objects against an individual could lead to the loss of various body parts.

5. Stigma and shame

6. Reproductive health consequence such as cases of unwanted pregnancies, which could have complications and even lead to loss of life

How to Prevent and Reduce Gender-Based Violence.

  1. Criminalize all acts of gender-based violence
  2. Enforcement of strict laws against gender-based violence.
  3. Proper orientation and disbanding of wrong beliefs that support gender-based violence
  4. Funding and Creation of job opportunities to reduce the poverty-driven risk factors of GBV.

Barriers to the Prevention of Gender-Based Violence

  1. Discrimination by the law
  2. Victims’ lack of confidence/trust in helps.
  3. Not being able to access undiluted justice.
  4. Threat to life by perpetrators.
  5. Fear of being stigmatized.

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