Gender based violence, or GBV for short, is violence that is directed to someone based on their gender. Gender based violence can be seen in different forms – whether it be in their own family, in a relationship, or even in some cases human trafficking. At some point in their lives thousands of men, women and non-binary individuals do experience some form of gender based violence. However a majority of victims are women and young girls. It is estimated that one in three women worldwide have been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused at least once in their lifetime. Even though the statistics on gender based violence vary, the scale at which it occurs is immense and the consequences on those affected – personally, in their family, in their community or even in their country, is very devastating. There are a few measures in place to assist these situations, however, in my opinion not enough is being done. In order to help prevent and respond more effectively to gender based violence people need to be educated, victims of gender based violence need to be properly addressed, and it needs to be recognized at the national level.Order now
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” is a quote said by Nelson Mandela in order to portray his beliefs on why having an education or being educated is very powerful. When it comes to sensitive topics, this is when we as the human race need to be the most educated. Speaking primarily towards gender based violence, there is a good percentage of people that are very educated and take matters into their own hands to further exude this information in order to educate others. On the other hand there are many individuals that do not really know what gender based violence even is because they have either never heard of it before or have never had any close interaction with it. I feel that the best way to educate people on this topic would be to start at the primary education level. As children grow up being educated with this kind of material will allow them to process and digest everything so that by the time they mature, this would not be something completely foreign. I feel as though children are the most accepting beings in society because their innocence has not been tainted by the horrors of this world, and again, if they grow up knowing about this topic they would try and put a stop to it. Besides in specific locations, I feel as though the best way to educate a mass number of individuals is by using different forms of media. In this day in age we are moving into using more and more technology, therefore technology should be taken advantage of and use this platform to educate. While researching gender based violence I was able to find a study done in Croatia (EIGE.) In this particular campaign a multimedia group went around work and schools to raise awareness in the different types of gender based violence. One of the main reasons this campaign was a success was their use of media. The group used several channels on national television, printed material, and webpages. The most effective use of media was the webpage im that it reached 250,000 people. Also, approximately 800 people used an online counseling service to either get advice or educate themselves on their identity, sexual and reproductive health and rights. I feel as though if this was an option, at least in the United States, there would be a significant increase in the level of education towards gender based violence.
In order to effectively assess and respond to gender based violence, the victims need to be properly addressed. In the United States, it is typically very difficult for individuals to step forward considering they are typically ridiculed. A recent example of an individual being ridiculed was this year a couple months ago when Christine Blasey Ford stepped forward and said that Brett Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her. What really bothered me was the fact that the current President of the United States took to social media to say that she should have immediately filed a police report if it was “as bad as she says” (Reilly). This is very aggravating because essentially the President was ridiculing her for stepping forward and getting justice for something that traumatized her almost four decades prior. This is the wrong way to be handling this situation because it is only doing more harm than good. The best way to handle it would be providing resources that will aid in recovery whether that being speaking to a psychologist or getting psychiatric treatment. Overall, any violence is violence and should be treated as such regardless of what the individual chooses to identify as. It seems that in today’s society, gender plays a key role and the fact that an individual did face violence comes second. The primary focus- at all times- should be the fact that the person faced some form of violence and needs support instead of public ridiculation.
Another method to effectively assess and respond to gender based violence would be to address the issue on a national level. There can be all the education in the world, however, if there is no practicality to the matter there is no use in even educating at all. There are laws created such as the Violence Against Women Act (1994) that protects victims and guides them, however I feel as though this is not enough. This form of violence is very much present and people feel as though it is an option to them. If the laws were tighter and the consequences were actually carried out, there would be a significant decline in the amount of violence occurring. Another form of addressing the issue at a national level would include creating budgets towards aiding the victims. Again, laws may be set in place however if there is no actual support from the government, then there is no use in trying. Whether we realize it or not the government plays a big part in what is focused on and what is not. If the government does not care enough about it then there is a lack of funding as well as a lack of education on the said topic. Overall, addressing the matter at a national level would be very beneficial and in my opinion would be a giant leap forward in helping these victims.
As stated by Avijeet Das, “ it is when we finally realize the futility of violence and the invalidity of war will we, the people of this world finally wake up!” Gender based violence, as it was previously mentioned, is a form of violence targeted to individuals based on their gender. This is a very predominant form of violence that needs more attention in that it tends to be overlooked. Certain actions need to be taken in order to see a change and potentially see a dramatic decline. There are a few measures in place to assist these situations, however, in my opinion not enough is being done. In order to help prevent and respond more effectively to gender based violence people need to be educated, victims of gender based violence need to be properly addressed, and it needs to be recognized at the national level. This is a very sensitive matter but I know if us as a human race worked together, we can make a change.