What is violence against women?

Violence against women is the intentional and regular use of different abuse tactics to demonstrate power and maintain control over his victim including her thoughts, feelings, beliefs and even her behavior by creating fear and dependency. As a result of the abuse, she may change her behavior, her thoughts and feelings and even her preferences to avoid retaliation from her partner.

a) Dating Violence: often begins with emotional abuse, like name-calling, put downs and often leads to more serious kinds of abuse, like hitting, and stalking after a break up. Dating violence can include sexual abuse where the victim is forced into unwanted sexual activity.

Someone might be a victim of abuse if her partner:

  • is overly jealous, possessive, bossy or controlling
  • is constantly checking on her
  • won’t accept breaking up
  • constantly accuses her of being unfaithful
  • regularly yells at or insults her
  • prevents or discourages her from seeing friends and family
  • controls how she spends money
  • grabs, hits, pushes or shoves her
  • brags about mistreating others, loses his temper easily or has a history of fighting
  • pressures or forces her to have sex
  • humiliates her in front of others
  • has a history of bad relationships and blames others for his behavior
  • destroys her property and things she cares about
  • abuses alcohol or drugs and may pressure her to do so

b) Emotional/Psychological Abuse: is the infliction of emotional pain and suffering to control or degrade by name-calling, shouting, screaming and attacking the person’s self-esteem and self-worth with denial of her feelings, thoughts and ideas. He often criticizes and ridicules her and/or her family and repeatedly accuses her of being unfaithful or cheating on him.

c) Physical Assault: is the attempt or infliction of pain through physical contact such as hitting, choking, slapping, burning, shoving, punching, biting, clubbing and/or using a weapon resulting in bodily harm, discomfort and/or injury.

d) Isolation: is the act of controlling contacts with friends and family, limiting access to information and preventing participation in groups and organizations. This can also include more serious acts like locking the person in a room, and monitoring her telephone calls.

e) Economic Abuse: is the act of controlling the a woman’s financial independence and/or financial decision-making by denying her access or right to money, fostering dependency and making all the financial decisions without her input.

f) Property Damage: is the act of destroying or threatening to destroy property, a woman’s belongings, cherished possessions and pets, throwing or smashing objects, and/or trashing clothes.

g) Sexual Assault: is any unwelcome or forced sexual activities including unwanted sexual contact, forced sex, uttering threats to obtain sex, forcing sex when sick, treating her as a sex object, and criticizing her sexual performance.

h) Stalking and Harassment: is the act of following a woman, turning up unexpectedly at her workplace and/or house, parking outside her home or workplace, repeated unwanted phone calls to her and/or her family, friends, colleagues.: