Domestic violence is violence or abuse in a domestic setting- with someone that you live with such as in marriage or cohabitation.
Gender-based violence (GBV) is violence that is directed at an individual based on his/her gender identity.
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is abuse or aggression that occurs in a romantic relationship, and refers to both current and former spouses and dating partners.
IPV thrives on secrecy and manipulation.
Femicide is an act of violence where a woman who is killed by and intimate partner.
Types of violence:
- Physical violence occurs when someone uses a part of their body or an object to control a person’s actions.
- Sexual violence
- Emotional violence
- Psychological violence
- Spiritual violence
- Cultural violence
- Verbal abuse
- Financial abuse
The causes of GBV:
- Gender-based violence is deeply rooted in discriminatory cultural beliefs and attitudes that perpetuate inequality and powerlessness, in particular of women and girls.
- Men are admired for their strength and control over women and children.
- Police do not have the manpower to address the problem.
- The judicial system is overloaded and cases take too long to get to court.
- Perpetrators know that they can get away with it – as there are too many crimes and GBV is not seen as serious crimes such as murder and assault.
- Victims of violence can suffer sexual and reproductive health consequences, including forced and unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions, sexually transmitted infections including HIV, and even death (femicide).
- Affects you mentally, physically, emotionally, spirtiually
- Low self-worth
- Self blame
- You believe that his controlling behaviour is normal and you accept the abuse
- You constantly seek validation from the abuser
- Children who witness GBV become fearful and their functioning at school is affected, they battle to concentrate, they become disruptive in class, they bully others as this becomes their normal.
Why do women ‘allow’ this to happen?
- They believe that the abuser will change
- They want to save them because women are nurturers
- Love them
- We are taught that it is not good to break up a marriage, divorce is wrong
- Women are ashamed if their relationship fails
- Women believe that they won’t find another man
- Women see themselves as a failure. You try harder to please him
- Hopelessness of their situation
- Society sees you as a lesser person as you are not in a relationship
- Getting out and getting away is difficult
Break the silence by speaking out and help stop the violence.
Jackie Orsmond is the director of Masithethe Counselling Services (formerly LifeLine East London), which has been offering confidential and free counselling to residents of the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality since 1985 (35 years). Contact number: 043-722-2000 or WhatsApp 084-091-5410