Gender-Based Violence


Gender-based violence (GBV) is any act that is perpetrated against a person’s will and is based on gender norms and unequal power relationships that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to anyone, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty.

Based on the definition above, we know that:

1) GBV  can occur anywhere – not only in private but also at public places like office and school
2) The root causes of GBV are unequaled power relation and gender social norms; both men and women are expected to perform socially-determined roles. For example, traditional roles dictate that women should be humble, passive, emotional and powerless while men are aggressive, unemotional and powerful.


These are forms gender-based violence worldwide. At AWAM, our primary focus


Who are the perpetrators?

Anyone can be a perpetrator of GBV. There is no rhyme of logic to it but there is always some sense of unequal power based gender norms between perpetrator and survivor.

Most of the time perpetrator are people known to survivors such as an intimate partner, family members, friend, coworkers, community leaders, and teachers [3].


Who are the victims/ survivors?

Women and girls are more likely to be aurvivors of GBV. However,anyone can be be a survivor of GBV – including men and boys, transpeople and other vulnerable groups. GBV impacts to anyone regardless their gender, biological sex, social background, region, or nationality. Persons who are separated from their community, family, lack access to education or livelihood opportunities have much more risk on GBV [3]. According to the statistic, approximately one in four women and girls over age 15 may experience sexual violence by an intimate partner at some point in their lives, and rates of sexual abuse by non-partners range from one to 12 percent over the course of a woman’s lifetime [4].


How does GBV affect survivors?

GBV is connected to injuries, disabilities, chronic health problem, sexual and reproductive health problem ad more. These are some of the physical effects of GBV Some forms of GBV even results in murder or suicide. Unwanted pregnancy and abortion could also happen as a result of sexual assault or rape.

Psychological effects of GBV can be divided into two; direct and indirect. Anxiety, fear, depression, inability of concentration, and PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) are main direct effects of gender-based violence. Psychosomatic illnesses, withdrawal and alcoholic or drug  use (and other methods of coping) are categorized into indirect effects [5].

These physical and psychological factors prevent victims from participating in society, establishing relationships outside of the abusive home, opportunities of employment, education, or other meaningful social activities that are important pillars of a person’s sense of self. These factors go on to mamifest as financial issues.

Compiled by Yukiko Nagano for AWAM


[1] Women for women international,

[2] “What Is Toxic Masculinity”, Maya Salam, 22/01/2019, New York times

[3] “Handbook for the Protection of Internally Displaced Persons”, 2010, p.197, Global Protection Cluster Working group, Global Protection Cluster

[4] “WHO Multi-country Study on Women’s Health and Domestic Violence Against Women”, Claudia García-Moreno, Henrica A.F.M. Jansen, Mary Ellsberg, Lori Heise, Charlotte Watts, 2005, World Health Organization

[5] “Causes and Effects of Gender-Based Violence”, 2003, Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights

[6]“consequences and costs” 31/10/2010, UN Women,

[7] Ellsberg MC, Heise L. Researching Violence Against Women. A Practical Guide for Researchers and Activists. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, PATH; 2005.