Violence against women involves various acts such as coercion to sexual activity, harassment, aggression that can be psychological used to cause psychological harm as well as using threats, intimidation, and isolation as a form of control. Violence against women can be as high as one in five women in some countries and death is a prevalent in the same rate as diseases such as cancer, according to World Bank. Such violence occurs across various continents.
There are no legal provisions to remedy the growing number of incidents except for general law to be applied that fails to address this issue adequately.
War conflicts and violence against women
Another common factor in violence against women are the incidents of war. At times, casualties in these conflicts involve more civilian deaths than those of the soldiers. Most of the victims in such conflicts are women that are abducted, raped and forced into slavery. In these situations, soldiers tend to bear no responsibility for these crimes.
During war conflicts, it is women civilians who are mostly targeted that is a common strategy tactic during the war. When armed conflicts end there is an extensive number of refugees and displaced people, where most constitute women. Often women are attacked willfully, where systemic rape is perpetrated along with sexual slavery, harassment, forced prostitution, and imprisonment. Although women rarely participate in the decisions to engage in conflicts they bear the most of the impact from such conflicts. Men can also be the victims of sexual assaults during wars and never be compensated while little measures are undertaken to protect those who become casualties of the conflicts.
Sexual assaults during wars are committed in various parts of Africa, but they also occurred during various conflicts in Eastern Europe as well. Such acts are not punished, especially when committed by those who are not part of regular armies that can freely access homes in villages and cities. In some countries, state forces also committed rapes during civil wars that can be used as tactics to force submission.
Riots also give opportunities for rapes and sexual assaults while these incidents occur frequently in refugee camps.
Violence and Gender
A common venue for sexual assaults is women trafficking that is part of the new growing industry exacerbated by economic and social circumstances, where even corrupt officials may be involved.
There are many crimes committed on prostitutes, but these issues receive little attention from authorities.
Most of the rapes committed on women are perpetrated by males that women know. Only rapes committed by strangers tend to be punished, as other assaults are difficult to prove despite the fact that there are many assaults committed as part of blackmail or demanding sex for work.
Violence against women reflects inequalities in gender while also helps the balance of power to prevail. When violence is used subordination can reinforce the position but also certain norms. When inequality is maintained so is the vulnerability. In this way, violence can be encouraged. When women are sexually assaulted they are often blamed for attracting it in some way.
While women and children suffer most during conflicts they are rarely given opportunities to heal from their traumas. They tend to suffer from poverty and receive inadequate support following the conflict.