Women of all ages are more at risk for gender based violence.
GBV has serious risks:
The risk of being infected with HIV. Young women and married women are very vulnerable to HIV. Once a woman cannot negotiate safer sex because she is scared of her partner, it makes her vulnerable. She may be scared he won’t trust her if she asks, or is accusing him of being unfaithful. Many women don’t declare their HIV status because they are afraid of abuse once their HIV status is disclosed. This happens even if they were faithful to their partners and have been infected by them.
Injury or death. Violence and abuse escalates and may even result in a man killing his partner on purpose or by accident.
If you suspect GBV what can you do? A.D.A.D.
- ASK the person, neighbours or family members about your suspicions.
- DECIDE if help is needed and what kind - do they need to talk to the police, their parents or a school counsellor? Do they need to get away from the situation immediately?
- ACT by reporting to the headman, chief or police. Or talk to an adult you can trust such as a parent or aunt/uncle.
- DOCUMENT record, or write down what you saw, heard and did. Most cases will end up in court so get your facts straight.
There is also violence perpetrated by women towards men but it is much more common (and sometimes culturally acceptable) for men to assert their power over women through violence and abuse.
Stand up for the rights of women and children. Violence should never be accepted and you can show others they are not above the law by taking ADAD action. Never try stop an abuser yourself. Always talk to a trusted adult and/or the police.