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What is violence against women?

Violence against women (VAW) affects one in three women globally. In the UK two women a week are murdered by their partners.

Violence against women exists on a continuum from street harassment to femicide. It includes any form of violence or abuse where the majority of victims are women, and the majority of people committing the abuse are men. Violence against women also includes domestic abuse, female genital mutilation (FGM), rape and sexual assault, prostitution and ‘revenge pornography’. Addressing these forms of violence underpins both our work and Scottish Government policy

These forms of violence have the same root cause: gender inequality. Men’s violence against women is caused by gender inequality, and it helps this inequality to continue. Gender inequality means that women have less economic, political and social power than men, making it possible for some men to abuse their power. It also means that women are expected to be more caring and passive, while men are expected to be strong and unemotional. These stereotypes encourage and normalise violence and abuse.

Ending men's violence against women and children is not a ‘women’s issue’. It is everyone's responsibility. 

Photo: Statement of Intent to end Men's Violence Against Women co-ordinated by Zero Tolerance and partner organisations.

 
 

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