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Umbrella
What may the Violence Against Women Umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this Umbrella may include:

  • Abuse
  • Abused Women
  • Battered Women
  • Digital Abuse
  • Domestic Abuse/Violence
  • Emotional Abuse
  • Financial Abuse
  • Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)
  • Partner Abuse/Violence
  • Physical Abuse/Violence
  • Reproductive Coercion
  • Safety and Relationships
  • Sexual Abuse/Violence
  • Spousal Abuse/Violence
  • Violence Against Women

Definition

What is violence against women?

DotS the definition of violence against women may vary. The United Nations General Assembly’s definition is:

“In 1993, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women (A/RES/48/104). The Declaration defines violence against women as ‘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’”.1

Common or Not

How common is violence against women?

In Violence Against Women: Key Facts dated 25 March 2024, the World Health Organization include:

  • “Estimates published by WHO indicate that globally about 1 in 3 (30%) of women worldwide have been subjected to either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime
  • Most of this violence is intimate partner violence. Worldwide, almost one third (27%) of women aged 15-49 years who have been in a relationship report that they have been subjected to some form of physical and/or sexual violence by their intimate partner”.2

In the United States according to a statistic quoted by the (United States) National Domestic Violence Hotline in Domestic Violence Statistics: General Statistics:

“An average of 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States — more than 12 million women and men over the course of a single year”.3

In the United Kingdom according to the Refuge in Facts and Statistics: The Facts Tell A Clear Story…

“Fact: The police receive a domestic abuse-related call every 30 seconds.

Fact: 1 in 4 women in England and Wales will experience domestic abuse in her lifetime.

Fact: On average, 2 women a week are killed by a current or former partner in England and Wales”.4

Domestic Violence/Abuse

What is domestic violence/abuse?

DotS the definition of domestic violence may vary. In Understand Relationship Abuse: We’re All Affected By the Issue of Domestic Violence – Abuse Defined the National Domestic Violence Hotline’s definition is:

Domestic violence (also referred to as intimate partner violence (IPV), dating abuse, or relationship abuse) is a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship”.5

In Signs of Domestic Abuse: Spotting the Signs – Types of Domestic Abuse the Refuge explain:

  • Psychological/emotional abuse: Includes name-calling, threats and manipulation, blaming you for the abuse or ‘gas-lighting’ you
  • Coercive control: When an abuser uses a pattern of behaviour over time to exert power and control. It is a criminal offence
  • Physical abuse: This isn’t only hitting. He might restrain you or throw objects. He might pinch or shove you and claim it’s a ‘joke’
  • Tech abuse: He might send abusive texts, demand access to your devices, track you with spyware, or share images of you online
  • Economic abuse: Controlling your access to money or resources. He might take your wages, stop you working, or put you in debt without your knowledge or consent
  • Sexual abuse: This doesn’t have to be physical. He might manipulate, deceive or coerce you into doing things you don’t want to do”.6

Pattern

Can domestic violence have a pattern?

Yes. In Domestic Violence Against Women: Recognize Patterns, Seek Help – Recognize Domestic Violence the (United States) Mayo Clinic elaborate on how to recognize domestic violence patterns.

Who

Who can domestic violence happen to?

The National Domestic Violence Hotline explain:


Violence Against Women
“Domestic violence doesn’t discriminate. People of any race, age, gender, sexuality, religion, education level, or economic status can be a victim — or perpetrator — of domestic violence. That includes behaviors that physically harm, intimidate, manipulate, or control a partner or otherwise force them to behave in ways they don’t want to. This can happen through physical violence, threats, emotional abuse, or financial control”.7

Facts

What are facts about violence against women everyone should know?

In International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women 25 November: Why We Must Eliminate Violence Against Women the United Nations elaborate on:

“Violence against women and girls (VAWG) remains largely unreported due to the impunity, silence, stigma and shame surrounding it.

In general terms, it manifests itself in physical, sexual and psychological forms, encompassing:

  • Intimate partner violence (battering, psychological abuse, marital rape, femicide)
  • sexual violence and harassment (rape, forced sexual acts, unwanted sexual advances, child sexual abuse, forced marriage, street harassment, stalking, cyber- harassment)
  • Human trafficking (slavery, sexual exploitation)
  • Female genital mutilation; and
  • Child marriage”.8

Intimate Partner Violence

What is intimate partner violence (IPV)?

DotS the definition of IPV may vary. In Relationships and Safety: Domestic or Intimate Partner Violence the Womenshealth.gov’s definition is:

“Domestic violence is sometimes called intimate partner violence. It includes physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, as well as sexual coercion and stalking by a current or former intimate partner. An intimate partner is a person with whom you have or had a close personal or sexual relationship. Intimate partner violence affects millions of women each year in the United States”.9

In Fast Facts: Preventing Intimate Partner Violence: What Is Intimate Partner Violence? the (United States) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s definition is:

“Intimate partner violence (IPV) is abuse or aggression that occurs in a romantic relationship. “Intimate partner” refers to both current and former spouses and dating partners. IPV can vary in how often it happens and how severe it is. It can range from one episode of violence that could have lasting impact to chronic and severe episodes over multiple years…”.10

Female Genital Mutilation

What is female genital mutilation (FGM)?

DotS the definition of FGM may vary. In International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, 6 February: Ending Female Genital Mutilation By 2023 the United Nation’s definition is:

“Female genital mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures that involve altering or injuring the female genitalia for non-medical reasons and is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights, the health and the integrity of girls and women”.11

LGBTQ Violence

What is LGBTQ+?

DotS LGBTQ+ can be an abbreviation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Plus.

Is abuse in LGBTQ+ relationships, similar to their heterosexual peers?

In Abuse In LGBTQ+ Communities the National Domestic Violence Hotline elaborate on:

“While abuse among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning “plus” (LGBTQ+) people occurs at the same rates and in similar ways as their heterosexual peers, LGBTQ+ people may face forms of abuse or barriers to accessing support specifically based on prejudices against their gender expression or sexuality”.12

In Domestic Violence Against Women: Recognize Patterns, Seek Help the (United States) Mayo Clinic also note:

“If you’re in a same-sex relationship or if you’re bisexual or transgender, you might also be experiencing abuse if you’re in a relationship with someone who:

  • Threatens to tell friends, family, colleagues or community members your sexual orientation or gender identity
  • Tells you that authorities won’t help you because of your sexuality or gender identity
  • Justifies abuse by questioning your sexuality or gender identity”.13

Elder Abuse

What is elder abuse?

Dots the definition of elder abuse may vary. In Abuse In Later Life the (United States) National Clearinghouse on Abuse In Later Life’s (NCALL) definition includes:

“Abuse in later life and elder abuse are terms used to describe harm to older adults. Abuse in later life and elder abuse can happen to any older adult and can occur in any setting and across all communities and backgrounds”.14

Help

What if I need help?

In Domestic Violence and Abuse: Getting Help and Support for Domestic Violence the (United Kingdom) NHS elaborate on:

“You do not have to wait for an emergency situation to find help. If domestic abuse is happening to you, it’s important to tell someone and remember you’re not alone”.15

Emergency Help

What if I need help in an emergency or if I am in immediate danger?

If you need help in an emergency or if you are in immediate danger, call the Police.

Local Help

What if I would like local help?

If you would like local help your health care provider, local community health center, national and/or state Domestic Violence Helpline may be able to provide you with information/referral/support to resources/services close to you such as:

  • Community Advocacy e.g. Childcare, Employment Resources, Permanent Housing
  • Counseling
  • Customized and Multicultural Services
  • Emergency Shelter/Women’s Refuge
  • Legal Advocacy
  • Support Groups
  • Transitional Housing

Hotline/Helpline

Do some countries have a 24/7 National Domestic Violence hotline/helpline to call?

Yes. Your country may have a hotline/helpline similar to the United States’ 24/7 National Domestic Violence Hotline, Australia’s 24/7 National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service 1800RESPECT or in the United Kingdom, Refuge’s The Freephone, 24-Hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline.

It is important to note different countries can have different National Domestic Violence hotline/helpline numbers to call. It may therefore be in your best interest to choose to check what the number is for you in your country.

Phone Bill

Even though hotline/helpline calls may be free, can they appear on phone bills?

Depending on the Country, they may. If you think your phone bill may be checked, call from a friend’s phone, a work phone or what you consider a safe phone.

Website Escape Button

Can some violence against women website pages include an escape or exit button as a way to immediately leave the site?

Yes. In the Office on Women’s Health, United States Department of Health and Human Services, Womenshealth.gov’s section Relationships and Safety: Escape, topics may include an escape button on the left side of the page which instructs:

“Click the escape button above to immediately leave this site if your abuser may see you reading it”.16

Helpline Links

Where may I find Helpline Links?

Your Country may have Links similar to:

Health Topics A-Z

Where may I find Health Topics A-Z related to Violence Against Women?

In Health Topics A-Z you may find:

Violence Against Women Links

Where may I find Links related to Violence Against Women?

Your Country may have Links similar to:

Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted?

You may find the Sources quoted at:

Sources

  1. Violence Against Women (A/RES/48/104). United Nations https://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/vaw/v-overview.htm Accessed: 15 May 2024
  2. Violence Against Women: Introduction. 25 March 2024. World Health Organization https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/violence-against-women Accessed: 15 May 2024
  3. Domestic Violence Statistics: General Statistics. National Domestic Violence Hotline https://www.thehotline.org/stakeholders/domestic-violence-statistics/ Accessed: 15 May 2024
  4. The Facts: The Facts Tell A Clear Story… Refuge https://refuge.org.uk/what-is-domestic-abuse/the-facts/ Accessed: 15 May 2024
  5. Understand Relationship Abuse: We’re All Affected By the Issue of Domestic Violence – Abuse Defined. National Domestic Violence Hotline https://www.thehotline.org/is-this-abuse/abuse-defined/ Accessed: 15 May 2024
  6. Signs of Domestic Abuse: Spotting the Signs – Types of Domestic Abuse. https://refuge.org.uk/i-need-help-now/how-to-identify-abuse/ Accessed: 15 May 2024
  7. Understand Relationship Abuse: We’re All Affected By the Issue of Domestic Violence – Abuse Defined. National Domestic Violence Hotline https://www.thehotline.org/is-this-abuse/abuse-defined/ Accessed: 15 May 2024
  8. International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women 25 November: Why We Must Eliminate Violence Against Women. United Nations https://www.un.org/en/observances/ending-violence-against-women-day Accessed: 15 May 2024
  9. Relationships and Safety: Domestic or Intimate Partner Violence. Page Last Updated: 15 February 2021. Office on Women’s Health, United States Department of Health and Human Services, Womenshealth.gov https://www.womenshealth.gov/relationships-and-safety/domestic-violence Accessed: 15 May 2024
  10. Fast Facts: Preventing Intimate Partner Violence: What Is Intimate Partner Violence? Last Reviewed: 11 October 2022. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/intimatepartnerviolence/fastfact.html Accessed: 15 May 2024
  11. International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, 6 February: Ending Female Genital Mutilation By 2023. United Nations https://www.un.org/en/observances/female-genital-mutilation-day Accessed: 15 May 2024
  12. Abuse In LGBTQ+ Communities. National Domestic Violence Hotline https://www.thehotline.org/resources/abuse-in-lgbtq-communities/ Accessed: 15 May 2024
  13. Domestic Violence Against Women: Recognize Patterns, Seek Help. 14 April 2022. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/adult-health/in-depth/domestic-violence/art-20048397 Accessed: 15 May 2024
  14. Abuse In Later Life. National Clearing House on Abuse In Later Life https://www.ncall.us/abuse-in-later-life/ Accessed: 15 May 2024
  15. Domestic Violence and Abuse: Getting Help and Support for Domestic Violence. Page Last Reviewed: 30 December 2022. NHS https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/getting-help-for-domestic-violence/#getting-help-and-support-for-domestic-violence Accessed: 15 May 2024
  16. Relationships and Safety: Escape. Page Last Updated: 15 February 2021. Office on Women’s Health, United States Department of Health and Human Services, Womenshealth.gov https://www.womenshealth.gov/relationships-and-safety Accessed: 15 May 2024
Topic Last Updated: 15 May 2024 – Topic Last Reviewed: 15 May 2024

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