Forms of gender-based violence

Gender-based violence takes different forms and can range from extreme physical violence to verbal and psychological violence and harm. In any form, gender-based violence seriously impacts on health and wellbeing.

Domestic abuse is a pattern of assaultive and coercive behaviours including physical, sexual and psychological attacks, as well as economic coercion used by adults or adolescents against their current or former intimate partners.

Examples of physical abuse include slapping, shaking, beating with fist or object, strangulation, burning, kicking, genital mutilation and threats with a knife.

Sexual abuse includes coerced sex through threats or intimidation or through physical force, forcing unwanted sexual acts, forcing sex in front of others and forcing sex with others. Psychological abuse involves isolation from others, excessive jealousy, control of his or her activities, verbal aggression, intimidation through destruction of property, harassment or stalking, threats of violence, and constant belittling and humiliation.  Harmful traditional practices include female genital mutilation (FGM), forced marriage and so-called ‘honour’ violence.