What Is Violence Against Women And Girls?
The terminology as defined by the HM Government states, “Violence Against Women And Girls” refers to acts of violence or abuse that we know disproportionately affect Women and Girls.
Crimes and behaviour covered by this term include rape and other sexual offences, domestic abuse, stalking, revenge porn, up-skirting, ‘honour’-based abuse (including female genital mutilation, forced marriages, and ‘honour’ killings) including offences committed online, as well as many others.”
The tragic deaths of Sarah Everard, Sabina Nessa, and many other victims has sparked an outrage and nationwide concern for the safety of Women & Girls.
In the UK, 1 in 5 women are victims of sexual attacks, 1 in 4 women are victims of domestic abuse & 1 in 5 women have been stalked by other people.
However, not all crimes are reported to the police.
In some instances, victims may not be aware they’ve experienced a crime.
Although this article in particular talks about violence against women, we’d like to address the fact that anyone can be a victim of violence and abuse regardless of age, gender, race, sexual orientation or religion.
Therefore, it’s important to be mindful and respectful towards all victims and survivors of violence and abuse and not to victim shame anybody.
Sharing these signs amongst people you know could potentially help someone recognise if they’re in an abusive environment.
However, please remember every situation is unique.
- Physical assault – Kicking, biting, punching, holding down etc.
- Forcing or withholding food.
- Using weapons or objects to cause harm.
- Putting your life in danger.
- Yelling, shouting, screaming, abusing.
- Belittling, insulting or demeaning you in private or around people.
- Non-consensual sex.
- Harmed during sex or being assaulted.
- Forced into sex work.
- Withholding or forcing birth control on you.
- Invalidating, dismissing, and devaluing you and your feelings.
- Making you feel worthless – Constant victim blaming.
- You’re made to believe that you’re the one causing problems.
- Threatens to harm you or themselves.
- All finances are under your partner’s name.
- Controls your income or steals from you.
- Not allowing you to work – Forcing you to be entirely dependent on them.
- Using your name on documents – without consent.
Control & Isolation –
- Calls, emails, or texts are monitored.
- You’re not allowed to go anywhere without your partner or they demand your location at all times.
- Not allowed to meet Friends & Family.
- Guilt trip you for dressing a certain way or wearing makeup.
Online Harassment –
- Being stalked on social media.
- Online bullying.
- Receiving unwanted messages constantly.
- Sharing of intimate photos or videos without your consent.
- Having your devices hacked – Spyware or GPS locators being added without your knowledge.
- Being threatened via social media or emails.
The Impact Of Abuse
The impact of abuse can have a lasting negative effect on victims.
Some of these may include –
- Low self-esteem or Low Confidence
- Panic attacks
- Confusion, Hopelessness, feeling Helpless.
- Alcohol & Substance Abuse
- Social Withdrawal & Isolation
- Physical health problems
- Negative impact on Children & Family
- Struggling with Work or School
- Becoming Homeless
- Struggling to maintain existing relationships.
For urgent support please contact 999 or your local emergency services.
For Counselling & Coaching reach out to us via email or phone
For additional resources and support please refer to the following organisations –
- Women’s Aid
- The Survivors Trust
- Rape Crisis (For Scotland – 08088 01 03 02)
- Galop (LGBT+)
- Surviving Economic Abuse
- Men’s Advice Line
- Halo Project Charity (FGM, Honour Based Violence, Forced Marriages)
Signal For Help
Recently, a missing teenage girl was rescued in America after using the “Signal For Help” hand gesture, which she learned via social media to alert a passerby that she was in danger and required help.
The gesture was created by the Canadian Women’s foundation to enable victims of abuse to reach out for help discreetly and safely. To learn more about the signal refer to the Canadian Women’s Foundation.
“A Woman’s Workshop”- To Vanquish The Inner Silence Caused by Abuse
Vanquish Therapies has created a workshop to help women vanquish the inner silence caused by abuse.
The purpose of the workshop is to help women use the trauma inflicted by violence and abuse to create positive changes in their lives and lead them on the path to healing.