Violence against women

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A Russian poster urging people to open their eyes about domestic violence against women

Violence against women (VAW), also known as gender-based violence and sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) are violent acts the victims of which are primarily or exclusively women or girls.


  • Feminism in the United States has never emerged from the women who are most victimized by sexist oppression; women who are daily beaten down, mentally, physically, and spiritually-women who are powerless to change their condition in life. They are a silent majority. A mark of their victimization is that they accept their lot in life without visible question, without organized protest, without collective anger or rage.
  • We all grow in a culture in which women's bodies are constantly turned into things, into objects. [...] Of course these affects female self-steem. It also does something even more insidious. It create a climate in which there is wide-spread violence against women. [...] Turning a human being into a thing is the first step towards justified violence against that person.
    • Jean Kilbourne, as quoted in Feminism in the Worlds of Neil Gaiman: Essays on the Comics, Poetry and Prose, p. 71. Editors Tara Prescott, Aaron Drucker. Editorial McFarland, 2012. ISBN 1476600929.
  • Women are frequently treated as property, they are sold into marriage, into trafficking, into sexual slavery. Violence against women frequently takes the form of sexual violence. Victims of such violence are often accused of promiscuity and held responsible for their fate, while infertile women are rejected by husbands, families and communities. In many countries, married women may not refuse to have sexual relations with their husbands, and often have no say in whether they use contraception ... Ensuring that women have full autonomy over their bodies is the first crucial step towards achieving substantive equality between women and men. Personal issues—such as when, how and with whom they choose to have sex, and when, how and with whom they choose to have children—are at the heart of living a life in dignity.

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