Violence Against Women

In this installment of our Talking Gender series we're covering how to talk to people about violence against women. This is part of our Any Woman, Anywhere campaign.

Maybe your friends make jokes that you find uncomfortable, or your parents say things you wish they wouldn’t.

Whoever you are, we’ve got some tips for explaining violence against women in easy and persuasive ways.

We all have the power to challenge these ideas with people who know and love us –we can change one person's mind to change a culture.

Remember, you don’t have to sit down and have a one-on-one planned serious discussion. It can be as simple as challenging small comments, or forwarding an article or video.

Read about how to start having these sort of conversations here.


This is violence

If someone hasn’t heard the term Violence Against Women before, or is dismissive of the concept, it is good to start simple.

Violence against women is violent acts committed against women, because they are women.

These violent acts exist on a continuum - from street harassment to murder.

This violence isn’t always physical and it can take many different forms: psychological, sexual, spiritual, emotional or verbal. It can be: sexual harassment at work, controlling behaviour in a relationship, stalking, online abuse and street harassment.

These forms of violence might not cause physical suffering but still cause huge harm to survivors.


This is a system of violence

There can be tendency to agree that any specific instance of violence against women is terrible and leave it at that.

But we know it is important to see past individual instances and understand Violence Against Women as a widescale issue. This isn’t about one offs or outliers – sadly, this is the norm.

More than 1 in 3 women experience violence in their lifetime. Violence can affect Any Woman, Anywhere - regardless of their backgrounds, social status, sexuality, faith, ethnicity or ability.

Read about the statistics of VAW in Scotland here.


This is a preventable system of violence

Violence Against Women is caused by gender inequality.

To fully eradicate Violence Against Women we must:

  • Raise awareness of the prevalence of violence, all the forms this violence takes, and all the women it affects
  • Create full social, economic and political equality


Take Action

Maybe your conversation goes really well and they now agree with you!

If they’re wondering how they can help, why not share our What Can You Do points.


Maybe they don’t agree

Maybe the conversation doesn’t go so well; read our tips for answering tricky questions and busting common myths here.



Do you have any other strategies and tips for approaching these conversations?

If you have any useful resources or tips about how to talk to friends and family about gender, race, sexuality, and disability please just let us know – we’d love to include it here!

We are also taking pitches for #TalkingGender blogs - we want to know how you approach and experience these conversations.

Please email with any suggestions for additions or blog ideas.

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