Violence Against Women



What is Violence against Women (VAW)?

Violence against Women (VAW) and girls (VAWG) is a serious violation of their human rights. It includes physical, sexual and psychological harm or threat of violence, coercion or depriving of liberty and can take place in public or private life.Violence against Women and Girls is not limited to any single country or region and often affects women and girls differently due to various socio-political, economic, cultural, religious, tribal and ethnic practices.

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What is Gender-based Violence (GBV)?

Gender-based Violence (GBV) describes the specific type of violence that is linked to the ‘gendered’ identity of being a woman, man or a person with transgender identity. In order to understand the full meaning of the term GBV we need to first understand the meaning of the term gender.

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Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is violence perpetrated in the domestic sphere, which targets women because of their role within that sphere, or violence which is intended to impact, directly and negatively on women within the domestic sphere.

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Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is an unwelcome act of a sexual nature, using assault, criminal force, or words or actions, which cause annoyance or pain of mind to the person being harassed. Although to the recipient the act is unwelcome, humiliating, disgusting, revolting and repulsive; the perpetrator may view it as complimentary, harmless, funny, ‘normal’ and even flattering. It is nevertheless sexual harassment if the act is unwelcome. Sexual harassment can occur in private or public life, between family and friends or at the workplace, public places and transportation. Both men and women can be perpetrators.

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Rape is forced, unwelcome sexual intercourse. It is a grave and inhumane act perpetrated against women and girls, which can have serious physical, psychological, emotional and economic repercussions. The experience is devastating not only because of the level of violence to her body, integrity, personal security and her self esteem and dignity but also the social stigma that surrounds the experience.

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Incest refers to sexual intercourse between persons closely related by blood or marriage as defined by law. Incest also applies in instances of legal adoption. What is important is the ‘family’ relationship.

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Grave Sexual Abuse

Grave sexual abuse includes all sexual acts defined by the offence of grave sexual abuse in Sri Lanka and not covered by the offence of rape. Grave sexual abuse also includes instances where sexual gratification is not only through the use of genitals or parts of the human body but also through any instrument and also on any orifice or part of the body of another person.

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Human trafficking involves an act of recruiting, transporting, transferring, harbouring or receiving a person through the use of force, coercion, fraud, deception or other means, for the purpose of exploiting them.

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Information Communication Technology (Digital) Violence

Information and Communication Technology related violence refers to violence perpetrated through new information and communication technologies such as the mobile phone and internet (social networking sites, email). It is also known as digital or cyber violence.

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