Suloshini Jahanath, long-time Pixel Project volunteer, Twitter Tag Team Coordinator and a member of the team at The Asian-Pacific Resource & Research Centre for Women (ARROW) contributes today’s 16 for 16 list – 16 consequences of Violence Against Women (VAW)
This is by no means a comprehensive list but it’s a great starting point for anyone who is new to the cause or to activists who need a short but digestible list to help with awareness-raising, advocacy and educational efforts in preventing VAW.
So get reading and get moving on taking action.
It’s time to stop violence against women. Together.
Note: Some of the information below may be triggering.
Do you know what happens when a woman is abused? It doesn’t just affect her, but those around her as well. Violence against women has a rippling effect that can go on for years and affect the generations to come.
Violence against women is defined 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 private life”.
It encompasses, but is not limited to, “physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring in the family, including battering, sexual abuse of female children in the household, dowry related violence, marital rape, female genital mutilation and other traditional practices harmful to women, nonspousal violence and violence related to exploitation; physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring within the general community, including rape, sexual abuse, sexual harassment and intimidation at work, in educational institutions and elsewhere; trafficking in women and forced prostitution; and physical, sexual and psychological violence perpetrated or condoned by the state, wherever it occurs.”
When a woman is exposed to these forms of violence, there are consequences to her physical, mental, emotional well-being, and these lead to impacting any children she might have, as well as social and economic costs.
Here are 16 consequences of Violence Against Women of women, families and communities:
Consequence 2: Gastrointestinal disorders,
Consequence 3: Limited mobility and poor overall health (sometimes, these can have fatal results)
Consequence 4: Intimate partner and sexual violence can lead to unintended pregnancies and other gynecological problems.
Consequence 5: Sexually transmitted diseases and infections (including but not limited to HIV/AIDS)
Consequence 6: Violence against a pregnant woman increases the chances of miscarriage, stillbirth and pre-term delivery.
These forms of violence can lead to:
Consequence 7: Clinical depression
Consequence 8: Emotional distress
Consequence 9: Insomnia or similar sleep disorders
Consequence 10: Post-traumatic stress disorder
Consequence 11: Eating disorders
Consequence 12: Suicide attempts.
Consequence 13: Sexual violence can lead to:
- Increased misuse of alcohol and drugs, as well as smoking.
- Risky sexual behaviours for a child in later years.
- Perpetration of violence (for males) and being a victim of violence (for females).
The Impact on Children
Consequence 14: Children who grow up in families where they are exposed to intimate partner violence can suffer from a range of behavioral and emotional disturbances, which can lead to perpetrating or being victims of violence later in life.
Consequence 15: Intimate partner violence can also be associated with increased rates of infant and child mortality and morbidity
Social and economic costs
Consequence 16: Women can suffer:
- A limited ability to take care of themselves or their children
- An inability to work and to sustain wages
- From isolation, which leads to a lack of participation in usual/regular activities
Violence against women is not an answer. It is a problem, one that is increasingly on the rise. Just because it isn’t happening to you doesn’t mean it isn’t happening to someone else – and she is somebody’s mother, somebody’s sister, somebody’s daughter, somebody’s wife, somebody’s girlfriend, somebody’s friend. So let’s spread the word and do something about it.
Some further reading and resources about the consequences of Violence Against Women: