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L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

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What is violence against women and girls?

Violence against women and girls is 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 in private life. 

Violence against women and girls refers to acts of violence or abuse that disproportionately affect women and girls. Although women and girls are mostly affected, men and boys can also be victims of this type of violence. Lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people can also be victims of this type of violence often due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. 

You can be a victim or witness gender-based violence in your family, at school, at work, in the community or online. It can be committed by anyone: 

  • current or previous spouse or partner 
  • family member 
  • school peers 
  • work colleague 
  • friends 
  • unknown person 

Different forms of violence

Violence can take different forms:


This is violence that results in injuries, distress or health problems. Typical forms of physical violence are:

  • beating
  • strangling
  • pushing
  • the use of weapons


Sexual violence is a sexual act committed against the will of another person. This can be either when this person does not give consent or when consent cannot be given because the person:

  • is a child
  • has a mental disability
  • is severely intoxicated or unconscious as a result of alcohol or drugs


This includes psychologically abusive behaviours such as:

  • fear by intimidation
  • controlling
  • coercive behaviour
  • blackmail


Involves making or trying to make a person financially dependent by:

  • keeping control over financial resources
  • withholding access to money
  • giving an allowance
  • not allowing the person to work or go to school

Types of crimes and behaviours

Crimes and behaviours covered by gender-based violence can include:

  • sexual offences
  • stalking
  • female genital mutilation
  • forced marriage
  • forced prostitution
  • human trafficking
  • domestic abuse. Includes all acts of physical, sexual, psychological, and financial violence that occur within the family, domestic unit, or between intimate partners. These can be from a current or former partner or when partners don't live together
  • online violence. This includes illegal or harmful behaviours online and can be also linked to experiences of violence in real life. Online violence can be:
    • illegal threats
    • stalking
    • incitement to violence
    • unwanted, offensive or sexually explicit emails or messages
    • sharing of private images or videos without consent
    • inappropriate advances on social networking sites
  • sexual harassment. This includes unwelcome verbal, physical or other non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature with the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of a person
  • honour-based abuse. This means violence, threats of violence, intimidation, coercion or abuse which have or may have been committed to protect or defend the honour of an individual, family or community for alleged or perceived breaches of the family or community's code of behaviour

Even though violence against women and girls directly or indirectly affects all of us, these crimes remain hidden within our society.

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