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Types of violence against women

Violence against women and girls is one of the world’s most prevalent human rights violations, taking place every day, many times over, in every corner of the globe. It has serious short- and long-term physical, economic and psychological consequences on women and girls, preventing their full and equal participation in society. 

 Types of violence against women


Domestic violence

Domestic violence, also called domestic abuse or intimate partner violence, is any pattern of behavior that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner. It encompasses all physical, sexual, emotional, economic, and psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This is one of the most common forms of violence experienced by women globally.

Domestic violence can include the following.

Economic violence

Economic violence involves making or attempting to make a person financially dependent by maintaining total control over financial resources, withholding access to money, and/or forbidding attendance at school or employment.

Psychological violence

Psychological violence involves causing fear by intimidation; threatening physical harm to self, partner or children; destruction of pets and property; “mind games”; or forcing isolation from friends, family, school and/or work.

Emotional violence

Emotional violence includes undermining a person’s sense of self-worth through constant criticism; belittling one’s abilities; name-calling or other verbal abuse; damaging a partner’s relationship with the children; or not letting a partner see friends and family.

Physical violence

Physical violence involves hurting or trying to hurt a partner by hitting, kicking, burning, grabbing, pinching, shoving, slapping, hair-pulling, biting, denying medical care or forcing alcohol and/or drug use, or using other physical force. It may include property damage.

Sexual violence

Sexual violence involves forcing a partner to take part in a sex act when the partner does not consent. See more about sexual violence below.

Learn more: The signs of relationship abuse and how to help

Femicide

Femicide refers to the intentional murder of women because they are women but may be defined more broadly to include any killings of women or girls. Femicide differs from male homicide in specific ways. For example, most cases of femicide are committed by partners or ex-partners and involve ongoing abuse in the home, threats or intimidation, sexual violence, or situations where women have less power or fewer resources than their partners.

Honor killing

Honor killing is the murder of a family member, usually a woman or girl, for the purported reason that the person has brought dishonor or shame upon the family. These killings often have to do with sexual purity and supposed transgressions on the part of female family members.

Sexual violence

Sexual violence is any sexual act committed against the will of another person, either when this person does not give consent or when consent cannot be given because the person is a child, has a mental disability, or is severely intoxicated or unconscious as a result of alcohol or drugs.

Sexual violence can include the following.

Sexual harassment

Sexual harassment encompasses non-consensual physical contact, like grabbing, pinching, slapping, or rubbing against another person in a sexual way. It also includes non-physical forms, such as catcalls, sexual comments about a person’s body or appearance, demands for sexual favors, sexually suggestive staring, stalking, and exposing one’s sex organs.

Rape

Rape is any non-consensual vaginal, anal or oral penetration of another person with any bodily part or object. This can be by any person known or unknown to the survivor, within marriage and relationships, and during armed conflict.

Corrective rape

Corrective rape is a form of rape of perpetrated against someone on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity. It is intended to force the victim to conform to heterosexuality or normative gender identity.

Rape culture

Rape culture is the social environment that allows sexual violence to be normalized and justified. It is rooted in patriarchy and fueled by persistent gender inequalities and biases about gender and sexuality.

Learn more: 16 ways you can stand against rape culture

Human trafficking

Human trafficking is the acquisition and exploitation of people, through means such as force, fraud, coercion, or deception. This heinous crime ensnares millions of women and girls worldwide, many of whom are sexually exploited.

Female genital mutilation

Female genital mutilation (FGM) includes procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. It is classified into four major types, and both the practice and the motivations behind it vary from place to place. FGM is a social norm, often considered a necessary step in preparing girls for adulthood and marriage and typically driven by beliefs about gender and its relation to appropriate sexual expression. It was first classified as violence in 1997 via a joint statement issued by WHO, UNICEF and UNFPA.

Child marriage

Child marriage refers to any marriage where one or both of the spouses are below the age of 18. It is a violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that “marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.” Girls are more likely to be child brides, and consequently drop out of school and experience other forms of violence.

Online or digital violence

Online or digital violence against women refers to any act of violence that is committed, assisted or aggravated by the use of information and communication technology (mobile phones, the Internet, social media, computer games, text messaging, email, etc) against a woman because she is a woman.

Online violence can include the following.

Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying involves the sending of intimidating or threatening messages.

Non-consensual sexting

Non-consensual sexting involves the sending of explicit messages or photos without the recipient’s consent.

Doxing

Doxing involves the public release of private or identifying information about the victim.

Source: UN Women

https://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/ending-violence-against-women/faqs/types-of-violence
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Violence against Women & Children in Canada

Let’s Learn Some facts about Violence against Women & Children in Canada.

Here are some of their overall statistics by the Canadian Women’s Foundation 

  • Every six days, a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner.
  • On any given night in Canada, over 6000 women and children sleep in shelters because it isn’t safe for them at home
  • Each year, over 40,000 arrests result from domestic violence—that’s about 12% of all violent crime in Canada. Since only 22% of all incidents are reported to the police, the real number is much higher.
  • In addition to sexism, there are many other forms of society inequality that compound abuse and violence, including racism, homophobia, classism, ageism, and religious persecution. Women who experience multiple forms of oppression are even more vulnerable to violence.
  • Domestic violence carries over into the workplace, threatening women’s ability to maintain economic independence. More than half (53%) of respondents who had experienced domestic violence said that at least one type of abusive at happened at or near their workplace. Almost 40% of those who had experienced domestic abuse said it made it difficult to get to work, and 8.5% said they lost their jobs because of it.
  • Women are at greater risk of experiencing elder abuse from a family member, accounting for 60% of senior survivors of family violence.
  • Cyber violence, which includes online threats, harassment, and stalking, has emerged as an extension of violence against women. Young women (age 18-24) are most likely to experience online harassment in its most severe forms, including stalking, sexual harassment and physical threats.
  • Although research shows links between alcohol consumption and domestic violence, there is disagreement about whether alcohol can be considered a cause of violence. When it comes to use of alcohol, there is often a double standard: while alcohol consumption by an offender may be used to excuse their behaviour, victims who have been drinking are often blamed for their own victimization.
  • Indigenous women are killed at six times the rate of non-Indigenous women. As of 2010, there were 582 known cases of missing or murdered Aboriginal women in Canada, but it is believed to actually be much higher. Both Amnesty International and the United Nations have called upon the Canadian government to take action on this issue, without success.
  • Newly immigrated women may be more vulnerable to domestic violence due to economic dependence, language barriers, and a lack of knowledge about community resources. Newcomers who arrive in Canada, traumatized by war or oppressive governments, are much less likely to report physical or sexual violence to the authorities, for fear of further victimization or even deportation.
  • Women who identified as lesbian or bisexual were three to four times more likely than heterosexual women to report experiencing spousal violence. Studies show that when women of colour report violence, their experiences are taken less seriously within the criminal justice system.
  • Women living with physical and cognitive impairments experience violence two to three times more often than women living without impairments. 60% of women with a disability experience some form of violence.
  • Domestic violence increases during times of crises, and national GBV rates increase following natural disasters like floors, wildfires, and hurricanes.
  • In just one year in Canada, 427,000 women over the age of 15 reported they had been sexually assaulted. Since only about 10% of all sexual assaults are reported to the police, the actual number is much higher.
  • Half of all women in Canada have experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual violence since the age of 16.
  • About 80% of sex trafficking victims in Canada are women and girls.
  • 67% of Canadians know a woman who has experienced physical or sexual abuse.
  • More than one in ten Canadian women say they have been stalked by someone in a way that made them fear for their life.
  • Violence against women costs taxpayers and the government billions of dollars every year: Canadians collectively spend $7.4 billion to deal with the aftermath of spousal violence alone.