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What Is Gender-Based Violence & Abuse?

Violence Against Women and Girls is one of the most prevalent human rights violations in the world and the UK. It has no social, economic or national boundaries.

  • 1 in 4 women in the UK will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.
  • Every year 400,000 women are sexually assaulted and 80,000 women are raped.
  • In 2014, 1,432 women were identified as potential victims of trafficking in the UK. Of these 653 were trafficked for sexual exploitation.
  • In 2014, the Forced Marriage Unit gave advice or support to 1,267 possible forced marriage cases.
  • 137,000 women and girls living in England and Wales have experienced Female Genital Mutilation.
  • 2 women are murdered by their partners or ex-partners per week.
  • 1 in 5 women have experienced stalking since the age of 16.
  • 750,000 children witness domestic violence each year.
  • 40% of teenagers are in abusive relationships.

Gender based violence and abuse has become an umbrella term for any harm that is perpetrated against a person’s will, and that results from power inequalities that are based on gender roles. The ‘gender based’ aspect highlights the fact that violence against women is an expression of power inequalities between women and men.

AVA uses the terms ‘gender based violence and abuse’ and ‘Violence Against Women and Girls’ interchangeably throughout our website and our work. This is in recognition that most gender based violence and abuse is inflicted by men on women and girls.

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