Violence against women
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|Sexual assault and rape|
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Violence against women (VAW), also known as gender-based violence and sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) are violent acts when they are primarily or exclusively committed against
Violence against women and girls is a problem of
pandemicproportions. At least one out of every three women around the world has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime with the abuser usually someone known to her.
Violence against women can fit into several broad categories. These include violence carried out by individuals as well as states. Some of the forms of violence perpetrated by individuals are:
In recent years, there has been a trend of approaching VAW at an international level through means such as conventions or, in the
A number of international instruments that aim to eliminate violence against women and domestic violence have been enacted by various international bodies. These generally start with a definition of what such violence is, with a view to combating such practices. The Istanbul Convention (
In addition, the term gender-based violence refers to "any acts or threats of acts intended to hurt or make women suffer physically, sexually or psychologically, and which affect women because they are women or affect women disproportionately". The definition of gender-based violence is most often "used interchangeably with violence against women", and some articles on VAW reiterate these conceptions by suggesting that men are the main perpetrators of this violence. Moreover, the definition stated by the 1993 Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women also supported the notion that violence is rooted in the inequality between men and women when the term violence is used together with the term 'gender-based.'
In Recommendation Rec(2002)5 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on the protection of women against violence, the Council of Europe stipulated that VAW "includes, but is not limited to, the following":
These definitions of VAW as being gender-based are seen by some to be unsatisfactory and problematic. These definitions are conceptualized in an understanding of society as patriarchal, signifying unequal relations between men and women. Opponents of such definitions argue that the definitions disregard violence against men and that the term