What is Gender-Based Violence?

Gender-based violence, or violence against women and girls, is defined by the United Nations as “violence that is directed against a woman because she is a woman, or that affects women disproportionately”.

This includes “any act of gender based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life” (UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, 1993).

As such, gender-based violence includes domestic abuse; sexual violence, abuse and exploitation; stalking and harassment; trafficking; female genital mutilation (FGM); forced marriage and so-called “honour”-based violence.

Violence against women is both a cause and consequence of broader gender inequality, and is a form of discrimination against women. This is recognised by governments ranging from the United Nations to the Welsh Government, and agencies ranging from Amnesty International to the World Health Organisation and Welsh Women’s Aid.

If you or anyone you know is experiencing gender-based violence, please call the All Wales Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Helpline on 0808 80 10 800 for confidential advice and information.
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