Which types of abuse is considered to be gender-based violence?
Physical abuse is defined as any deliberate act, behaviour or physical force by an individual (perpetrator) against someone (victim). It causes the victim bodily harm, injury, trauma or put their lives in danger. Methods are kicking, punching, burning, and using a knife gun to cause physical damage.
In most cases, physical abuse plays a role in the cycle of domestic abuse. However, more often than not goes hand in hand with controlling behaviour, emotional and verbal abuse, and other forms of violence like stalking, sexual assault, and murder.
Signs of physical abuse are
- Wearing clothes that don’t fit the season, like long sleeves in summer to cover bruises
- Excuses for injuries
- Black eyes
- Busted lips
- Red or purple marks on the neck
- Sprained wrists
- Bruises on the arms
Emotional abuse includes any behaviour that controls, demeans, harms or punishes a woman.
Many people think that emotional abuse is not as severe or as harmful as physical abuse. However, women state that this is not true and that the biggest problem they often face is getting others to take emotional abuse seriously. The presence of emotional abuse is the largest risk factor and the most significant predictor of physical violence. In addition, emotional abuse is responsible for long-term problems with health, self-esteem, depression, and anxiety in women.
The result is the same as physical abuse – a woman is fearful of her partner and changes her behaviour to please him or be safe from harm.
- Isolate a woman from her friends, family, cultural or faith community, care providers, and prevent her from having independent activities such as work, English as a Second Language class or other education
- Act overly jealous or possessive; accuse a woman of having affairs if she talks to another man; coerce her into sexual activity to prove her love.
- Constant critique on her actions, size and appearance, and abilities
- Use a woman’s disability or deafness to demean or control her.
- Threaten, intimidate, harass, or punish a woman if she does not comply with her abusive partner’s demands
- Use the children to control a woman, for example, undermine her authority as a parent or threaten to take them if she should leave.
- Make all of the decisions in the family (where they live, finances) or withhold information.
- Control the money and total spending ²
Sexual abuse includes the following:
rape, unwanted sexual contact, verbal sexual harassment, intimate partner violence, sexual assault, forced prostitution, human trafficking, sexual exploitation, infanticide, neglect and sex without consent in marriage.
Economic abuse is to deprive a person of financial resources. For example, the complainant must pay for basic household necessities, mortgage bond repayments or payment of rent in respect of a shared residence. It also covers the unreasonable disposal of household effects or other property.
Your partner controls the money:
- Keeps cash and credit cards from you
- It puts you on an allowance and makes you explain every cent you spend
- It keeps you from working whatever job you want
- Steals money from you or your friends
- It won’t let you have money for basic needs like food and clothes
Text-based counselling helpline: 060 047 00 00
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