How Can We Prevent Violence Against Women?

Updated: Jul 19

What prompted me to write this blog article about violence against women? If you scan the internet, you only have to search for a few seconds to find a wealth of websites with similar articles on the subject. In my case, the answer is simple. It concerns my own sister-in-law, a retired soprano, ten years at the National Opera House in Paris, born into show biz and on stage since the age of four, traveled all over the world, now living in Paris in an apartment formerly owned by the Paris Opera House.

Out walking with her little poodle on a daily basis, she has been attacked on three occasions – knocked to the ground, two necklaces snatched. And I won’t talk about show biz, the profession some believe everyone is an easy touch! Not at all true by the way.

I was so furious, particularly on this last occasion only a few days ago, that I decided to investigate, and put my own thoughts on the net.

Violence against women and girls has increased substantially in the last few years. Almost one third of women in the world have been forced to suffer brutality or sexual assault at least once in their lifetime, particularly from current or former husbands or intimate partners, although from other friends and strangers too. This figure does not include sexual harassment, and is probably much higher, because some 40% do not even report the problem, believing a stigma and discrimination is associated with it, or deciding nothing would be done to help. To make matters worse, the COVID-19 pandemic will certainly have augmented the statistics even further. Almost one third of women have been forced to suffer brutality or sexual assault at least once in their lifetime. As a direct result, women suffer depression, constant fear and anxiety, accidental pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), HIV, and other health problems which can last for many years, even after the violence has ceased.

Learn about violence against women; understand the facts and how widely it occurs

  • In the world, 50,000 women out of a total of 87,000 are murdered every year either by either intimate partners (past or present) or by family members.and even psychological violence to women politicians, the figures speak for themselves.

  • At any given moment, more than 28 million women and girls worldwide are modern day slaves or are forced to endure forced labor.

  • Roughly 11 million are in enforced marriages.

  • A third of all victims identified were youngsters, usually coming from impoverished countries.

  • Children constitute 50% of all victims detected, most of them bought and sold to be sexually exploited.

  • Worldwide, nearly half of all human trafficking victims were found to be adult women.

  • The practice of female genital mutilation is still practiced, particularly but not exclusively in West Africa and Yemen, but due to migration, the practice is also found in the Middle East, Europe, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. It is estimated that 3 million young girls suffer the barbaric practice of FGM every year.

  • Worldwide, around 15 million adolescent girls aged 15 to 19 have experienced forced sexual intercourse or other forced sexual acts in their lifetime. Only about 1% have sought professional help.

  • Even women politicians (over 80%) are constantly receiving psychological violence of a sexist or humiliating nature, including death, rape, assault, or kidnapping threats against them or their families, particularly on social media. Some 65% have been exposed to derogatory and sexist comments, principally by male parliamentarians.

Don't blame the victim, emphasize that rape is not the victim's fault


Violence, against women particular, is one of the most obvious manifestations of the correlation of forces between men and women. The main cause of violence is the perpetrator himself: it is important to remember that those affected by gender-based violence will never be held responsible for the behavior of the perpetrator. In our society, there is no single factor that can explain gender-based violence or GBV, but there are multitude of factors that contribute to it, and the interaction of these factors is the root cause of the problem.

Asking for permission is essential before seeking physical or sexual contact with someone

You can identify four types of factors.

  1. Culture

  2. Law

  3. Economy

  4. Politics

Cultural factors

Patriarchal and sexist attitudes legitimatize violence to secure male dominance and supremacy. Other cultural factors include gender stereotypes and prejudices, typical assumptions of womanhood and manliness, an understanding of the family sphere as being private and under male authority, and the general acceptance of violence as a public right (e.g. street aggression, the harassment of women), or as an acceptable means of resolving disputes and asserting oneself.

Be aware that most sex offenders aren’t strangers · 86% are at least acquainted with their victim

Religious and ancient practices have endorsed corporal punishment of women under the notion of entitlement and the ownership of women. This is considered essential, according to many codes, to ensure paternal inheritance.

Don’t buying music that celebrates sexual violence and projects women and girls as sex objects

Sex is also associated with the perception known as family honor in many societies. The customary practices of these societies allow the murder of women suspected of sullying the honor of the family by having prohibited sex or by marrying and divorcing without the consent of the family. Rules around sex also help explain the high number of homeless LGBT + youth and the rate of hate crimes against them, citing they are seen as a "threat" to other norms in LGBT + society. Similar criterion regarding sexuality can help clarify the mass rape of women.

Make a conscious effort to eliminate all kinds of oppression against women

Legal factors

In many societies, it is shameful and disadvantageous to be the victim of gender-based violence, with many women still considered guilty of perpetrating the violence due to their actions. This explains to some extent why the level of complaints and investigations is low.

Strongly oppose racist, sexist, or homophobic humor

Until recently, the laws of some countries still segregated public and private spaces, making women particularly vulnerable to domestic violence.

Teach your children that respect is the minimum requirement in a relationship, and lead by example

The Istanbul Convention guarantees to everyone, especially women, the right to live free of violence in public and private sectors. Although most forms of gender-based violence are criminalized in most European countries, in many cases law enforcement agencies favor disbelievers, which explains why there is a low level of trust in the police and public authorities and why most of these crimes go unreported.

Avoid participating in, supporting or encouraging sexual harassment, and speak out against it when you see or hear it

In many societies, the legality of homosexuality is still relatively new. Although many countries have made progress in accepting marriage equality, this has sometimes provoked resentment, for example by reinforcing the idea that the traditional family is a union of men and women, or when states have passed laws banning "gay propaganda".

Urge your priest, rabbi, pastor, clergyman, or spiritual leader to organize sermons to raise awareness and push for the safety of victims and the responsibility of perpetrators

Economic factors

Lack of economic resources generally make women and LGBT + people especially susceptible to physical or mental attack. self-perpetuating pattern When unemployment and poverty affect men, this can also cause them to assert their masculinity through violent means.

Educate children and adolescents that violence is not a solution to any problem

Political factors

The under-representation of women and LGBT+ people in power and politics

means they have fewer opportunities to shape the discussion and to affect changes in policy, or to adopt measures to combat gender-based violence and support equality. The topic of gender-based violence is in some cases deemed not to be important, with domestic violence also being given insufficient resources and attention. Women’s and LGBT+ movements have raised questions and increased public awareness around traditional gender norms, highlighting aspects of inequality. For some, this threat to the status quo has been used as a justification for violence.

Respect the decisions made by victims and survivors to carry on with their lives

Economic factors

The lack of economic resources generally makes women, but also LGBT+ people especially susceptible to violence. It creates a never-ending pattern of violence and poverty, making it difficult for victims to break free. When unemployment and poverty influence men, poverty drives chronic stress which can also lead them to demonstrate their masculinity by employing violence.

Decide to be an active bystander by raising your voice as needed and going to someone's aid when necessary

Political factors

The lack of representation of women and LGBT + people, both in position of power, in the workplace, and in politics, means they have little opportunity to influence discussions, policy changes, or take action to eradicate gender-based violence and to support equality.

Be as cool as a cucumber. Don't be afraid to raise your voice for those who have lost their voice and dignity

Women and the LGBT + movement have raised concerns and made the public more aware of traditional gender norms, emphasizing all aspects of social injustice. For some, these danger signs were used as an excuse for violence in order to maintain the status quo.




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