Types of gender-based violence

The table below shows that GBV can be physical, psychological or sexual.

Types of gender-based violence.

PhysicalPsychologicalSexual
Beating Insulting Harassment (any type of unwanted sexual attention)
Biting Yelling Touching sexual parts of the girl's/woman's body
Kicking Recalling past mistakes Touching in a sexual manner against the will of the girl/woman (e.g. kissing, grabbing, fondling)
Restraining Constant criticism Rape (forced sexual intercourse)
Pulling hair Expressing negative expectations Use of a weapon to force into a sexual act
Choking Humiliation Forced prostitution
Throwing objects Denying opportunities Sexual trafficking
Using weapons Discriminating

Stop reading for a moment and think about this from your own experience. Are any of these types of violence common in your community?

Although same-sex physical violence (even including stabbing) can be common among adolescents, the unequal power relationship results in most physical violence being directed at girls by boys.

Psychological GBV can be hidden, but you might uncover it if you ask some questions, for example, you could ask a very under-confident young girl whether she is receiving a lot of criticism from her family for being a girl.

You can see from the table above that sexual violence includes a wide variety of undesired sexual acts, ranging from sexual harassment, which includes unpleasant sexual comments or physical gestures, to sexual abuse, which is any type of unwanted sexual contact and includes all forms of sexual coercion (emotional, physical, and economic) against an individual.

An example of sexual abuse: young woman receiving unwanted sexual contact.

Rape is defined as having sex with a woman or girl without her consent or with consent obtained under threat, force, intimidation, fear of bodily harm or misrepresentation. Many adolescents are forced to have sexual relations with men or boys they know and are assaulted if they refuse to have sex. If a boyfriend forces his girlfriend to have sex against her will this is called date rape while acquaintance rape is committed by someone who is known to the girl, such as a neighbour, teacher, religious leader, family friend or relative. But sometimes a stranger commits an act of sexual violence.

All types of GBV can have damaging consequences, as you will learn in the next section.

Last modified: Tuesday, 1 July 2014, 12:32 PM