By Arianna Huffington
Earlier today, (December 7, 2015), the candidate currently leading in the polls for the Republican presidential nomination called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” That was, of course, Donald Trump. As Jeffrey Goldberg just tweeted, “Donald Trump is now an actual threat to national security. He’s providing jihadists ammunition for their campaign to demonize the US.”
“IOTD” is image of the day, a concept I came up with. I teach visual meditative therapy – or in easy terms – a mini mental holiday. For some people it is very difficult for them to get their image right. I post an image a day for people to use in their mini mental vacay. Some are serious, some are silly, and some are just beautiful!”
Violence against women (VAW) is, collectively, violent acts that are primarily or exclusively committed against women. Sometimes considered a hate crime, this type of violence targets a specific group with the victim’s gender as a primary motive. This type of violence is gender-based, meaning that the acts of violence are committed against women expressly because they are women.
The UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women states that
“violence against women is a manifestation of historically unequal power relations between men and women” and that “violence against women is one of the crucial social mechanisms by which women are forced into a subordinate position compared with men.”
Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations, declared in a 2006 report posted on the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) website that:
Violence against women and girls is a problem of pandemic proportions. At least one out of every three women around the world has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime with the abuser usually someone known to her.
Violence against women can fit into several broad categories.
These include violence carried out by ‘individuals’ as well as ‘states.’ Some of the forms of violence perpetrated by individuals are rape; domestic violence;sexual harassment; coercive use of contraceptives; female infanticide; prenatal sex selection; obstetric violence and mob violence; as well as harmful customary or traditional practices such as honor killings, dowry violence, female genital mutilation, marriage by abduction and forced marriage. Some forms of violence are perpetrated or condoned by the state such as war rape; sexual violence and sexual slavery during conflict; forced sterilization; forced abortion; violence by the police and authoritative personnel; stoning and flogging.
Many forms of VAW, such as trafficking in women and forced prostitution are often perpetrated by organized criminal networks.
Violence against women – particularly intimate partner violence and sexual violence against women – are major public health problems and violations of women’s human rights.
Recent global prevalence figures indicate that 35% of women worldwide have experienced either intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime.
On average, 30% of women who have been in a relationship report that they have experienced some form of physical or sexual violence by their partner.
Globally, as many as 38% of murders of women are committed by an intimate partner.
Violence can result in physical, mental, sexual, reproductive health and other health problems, and may increase vulnerability to HIV.
Risk factors for being a perpetrator include low education, exposure to child maltreatment or witnessing violence in the family, harmful use of alcohol, attitudes accepting of violence and gender inequality.
Risk factors for being a victim of intimate partner and sexual violence include low education, witnessing violence between parents, exposure to abuse during childhood and attitudes accepting violence and gender inequality.
In high-income settings, school-based programs to prevent relationship violence among young people (or dating violence) are supported by some evidence of effectiveness.
In low-income settings, other primary prevention strategies, such as micro-finance combined with gender equality training and community-based initiatives that address gender inequality and communication and relationship skills, hold promise.
Situations of conflict, post conflict and displacement may exacerbate existing violence and present additional forms of violence against women.