What is Violence Against Women?

The most prominent and wide spread form of gender-based violence is violence against women and girls, which 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, violence against women 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.

Welsh Women’s Aid manages the All Wales Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Helpline. Anyone affected by domestic abuse or sexual violence in Wales can call the free, confidential, 24-hour, bilingual and gender neutral Helpline on 0808 80 10 800 and/or access information on their website: http://www.allwaleshelpline.org.uk/

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