Violence Against Women - Dream Health

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Sunday, 19 January 2014

Violence Against Women

Types, Effects, Risk Factors and Dealing with Violence

Violence Against Women
Violence against women is a major public mental and social problem and is a clear violation of human rights. Violence is any act targeted at a particular person of a particular gender, which results in extreme physical, mental or sexual harm or suffering to women and also includes forms of acts of threats, deprivation or coercion. With regard to women, the most common forms or types of abuse are intimate partner violence and sexual violence. Some other forms are human trafficking, stalking, violence against women at work, emotional abuse, dating violence, sexual assault, etc. Sometimes women are attacked by strangers but the truth is that most of the time they are hurt by people close to them.

Domestic and intimate partner violence is the behavior by an intimate partner that causes sexual, psychological and physical harm and includes physical aggression, controlling behaviors and abuse.Domestic violence includes physical abuse such as hitting, kicking or throwing things, emotional abuse such as yelling, threatening or controlling and sexual abuse such as forcing sexual acts against the will of the person. People of all educational levels, ages and races experience domestic abuse.

Sexual violence is an act attempted to obtain a sexual act and directed against a person sexually using coercion in any situation. It includes rape which is nonconsensual sex directed at a victim who is forced to engage in penetration. It also includes touching, incest, photographing a person in sexual situations and exposing a person’s body. It is always wrong and a person who is abused sexually is never the cause of the attack or situation.

There are numerous mental health effects of violence, especially when it is targeted at women and the female gender. The person may feel emotionally attacked, confused, shocked and angry, depressed or emotionally numb. Such severe abuse and violence can lead to post traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety. Some abused women try using drugs like alcohol, smoking and may overeat to cope with the abuse but this may lead to more severe physical and mental problems. The effects of violence may or may or not wear away soon. Sometime violence that occurred years ago may continue to traumatize the person.

There are many risk factors for domestic violence and abuse such as lower levels of education, exposure to child maltreatment, witnessing family violence, harmful use of alcohol, and drugs, suspicion of infidelity, having multiple partners and the attitude of accepting violence and gender inequality. Some of the factors that are specifically associated with intimate partner violence are a past history of violence and marital discord and dissatisfaction. The unequal position of men and women and the use of violence to resolve conflict are strongly associated with violence against women.

Healing is an important part of such violence and interventions are needed to heal deal with the effects of violence and also to prevent it from happening. Some interventions are gender equality training, promoting communication skills and relationship skills, reducing access and harmful use of alcohol and intervention that changes cultural gender norms. Apart from these professional interventions, one can take steps right away to help oneself. If is important to get away from the attacker first and find a safe place. One should call someone they trust or contact the police for protection. One should protect evidence of the abuse and go to an emergency room immediately for help. One needs a lot of emotional support so one needs to reach out to people and get support.

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