What is violence against women and girls?
Violence against women and girls is an umbrella term used to describe any form of abuse directed at women and girls.
Violence against women and girls can includes domestic abuse; rape and sexual violence; stalking; forced marriage; so-called honour based violence; female genital mutilation (FGM); trafficking and sexual exploitation including through the sex industry; and sexual harassment in work and public life.
The term Violence Against Women and Girls helps us see the disproportionate nature of these forms of abuse and helps us to understand that this abuse is directed at women and girls simply because they are women and girls.
Violence against women and girls is both a cause and consequence of the inequality between women and men in our society.
Why a focus on male violence against women?
Violence and abuse can affect anyone, including men and boys. However the evidence shows that over 90%¹ of violence and abuse is experienced by women and girls at the hands of men. It is important that we focus on this disproportionality so that we can challenge and change attitudes that allow male violence against women and girls to continue.
When we focus on male violence against women and girls we are able to recognise how power and control operates in intimate or family relationships, and how this is harmful for both men, women, girls and boys.
Welsh Women’s Aid is committed to supporting women, men, girls and boys who experience violence and abuse; to challenging all those who perpetrate violence and abuse, and to preventing it from happening in the first place.
We make sure we respond in a way which is sensitive to trauma, puts survivors needs first, helps survivors see their own strengths and focuses on long-term independence and freedom.
Anyone affected by these forms of violence and abuse should be able to access help and support when they need it and every case should be taken seriously.
The Live Fear Free Helpline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for women, children and men experiencing domestic abuse, sexual violence or other forms of violence against women.
- Call 0808 80 10 800
- Email [email protected]
- Text 07860 077333
- Visit https://gov.wales/live-fear-free/contact-live-fear-free to use our webchat service.
¹ The ONS 2020 reports that in year ending March 2020 that 92% of defendants in domestic abuse related prosecutions were male. Further evidence from the Crown Prosecution Service shows the disproportionately gendered nature of these crimes.