DFSS 2023 Division on Gender Based Violence Strategy book
October 18, 2023
Gender-based violence (GBV) refers to harmful acts directed at an individual based on their gender. It is rooted in gender inequality, the abuse of power and harmful norms. GBV is an umbrella term for a range of interpersonal violence including, but not limited to, sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, and sexual exploitation. Domestic violence and sexual assault are thought of as subset behaviors of GBV while human trafficking is not exclusively a GBV behavior. Examples of GBV include child marriage; female genital mutilation; sex trafficking; intimate partner violence; and sexual, emotional or psychological violence.Domestic violence (DV) is a pattern of assaultive and coercive behaviors, including physical, sexual, and psychological attacks, as well as economic coercion, that adults or adolescents use to gain power and control over their intimate partners. An intimate partner can be a boyfriend or girlfriend, dating partner, sexual partner, or spouse. But DV is not limited to someone with whom the survivor has been sexually intimate or living in the same household; it may be a non-household member or caregiver. Domestic violence is lethal, common, and affects people of all cultures, religions, ages, sexual orientations, educational backgrounds, and income levels.
Domestic violence is a crime, and it happens in many different ways. Domestic violence is one of the most under reported crimes throughout the U.S. Even when reported, many survivors find themselves forced to spend hours, days and even months trying to navigate fragmented social, governmental, and law enforcement agency services. Each systemic process to seek assistance to break the cycle of violence subjects the survivor to reliving their trauma while trying to keep themselves and their loved ones safe. Human Trafficking (HT) is when an individual is compelled through force, fraud and/or coercion for the purposes of commercial sex, which is an exchange of a sexual act for anything of value that is given to or received by any person, and/or forced labor. For minors engaged in commercial sex, force, fraud and/or coercion is not required to be proven. Though HT is often fueled by bias-based harm, it is not exclusively GBV.