In spite of the growing international awareness of the problem and the declared willingness of States to fight gender-based violence, women and girls continue to suffer disproportionately from violence, both in peacetime and in the context of armed conflict, at the hands of family members, intimate partners, community members and State agents. The violence is often of a sexual nature. Instead of taking responsibility, States frequently ignore or deny violence against women, or justify the abuse with a reference to “culture”. The perpetrators of violence against women often escape punishment and its victims rarely receive reparation.
In many regions of the world, women and girls are subjected to violence because of their gender. Despite the fact that different social, cultural and political contexts give rise to different forms of violence, its predominance and its models are remarkably constant across national and socio-economic borders as well as cultural identities. Gender has a considerable impact on the form violence takes, the circumstances in which it occurs, the consequences, and the availability of legal, medical and social remedies. Because of violence, women are deprived – either totally or partially – of the enjoyment of their human rights and fundamental freedoms.
The most visible aspect of torture against women is sexualized torture. Of course, men can also be victims of sexual torture. However, rape, threat of rape and other forms of sexual violence are used more consistently against women. Victims of torture are already confronted with major obstacles when they file a complaint or request reparation. But when rape or other forms of sexual violence are the torture method, it is most likely that victims will not complain because of the shame and fear they feel.
Moreover, the majority of violence against women occurs in the private sphere of the family or in the community. Women are the object, in their own homes, of beatings, rape, incest, and traditional practices such as honour killings, dowry related violence, genital mutilations, son preference and early marriages. Furthermore, women are also targets of violence in society (e.g., rape, sexual abuse, trafficking, forced prostitution, pornography, violence against migrant women). Finally, certain groups of women are particularly vulnerable to violence, such as those belonging to a minority, indigenous women, refugees and women living in situations of armed conflict.
This is obviously a problem that has been overlooked for so long. it’s time for us to take a stand and…….Say No! to violence against Women
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