Gender-based violence

Gender-based violence or violence against women is a worldwide issue that affects one woman in 3 in the world. Violence against women is devastating for the victim, family, and economy. It’s thought that this violence cost 3.7% of the PIB in some countries. Most studies reveal that domestic partners or former domestic partners are the ones who perpetrate violence against women the most.

2020 has seen increased women violence related to the lockdowns during the covid 19 pandemic. Other situations like humanitarian disasters can lead to an increase in violence altogether and a worsening of violence towards the most vulnerable people in society, meaning women and young girls. 

Cultural norms shape the violence against women and young girls; it may be because of patriarchal value systems, the idea in some cultures that girls are inferiors to boys or are a burden or liability, so they can be sold as sex workers. Other factors include the reduction or lack of human values: young girls are subject to early marriage, neglect and denial of healthy and living conditions, prostitution, exploitation, rape, and denying of schooling and education, all those elements contributing to keeping them in a cycle of poverty. 

The consequence of gender-based violence can be disastrous to the health of women or young girls, leading to depression, suicide, abortion, gynecological problems, anxiety, sleep, and eating problems. Sexual violence against children can also lead to a growth of risky sexual behaviors and the consumption of illicit substances,  an increase of violence in young males and females either as perpetrators or victims of violence themselves when they become adults.  

Laws on violence against domestic violence are passed in 158 countries; however, it’s difficult for women to seek help in some places, and if they do it, they tend to confide in family members. It’s sometimes difficult for them to seek help from formal institutions that sometimes may not always have the ability to help them. 

Domestic violence, violence committed by a partner or ex-partners, the most prevalent form of violence toward women, has always been a hidden issue in Haiti. Domestic violence, gender-based violence, sexual abuse, or sexual exploitation tend to increase when disasters, crises, conflicts, or political instability exist in a country. Haiti has been struck by different natural disasters, political instability, and conflict several times during those 30 last years. The country was and is still left with the most vulnerable families in precarious situations and susceptible to being victims of violence. The natural disasters left many people homeless, with families living under tents or in camps, and the number of unwanted pregnancies has been growing up too. 

Violence against women and young girls is preventable and the health care sector has a significant role to play by providing a comprehensive approach to support women suffering from violence. A community-based and multi-directional approach can be helpful to fix the issue the violence; it can give both young males and females the tools they need, to not perpetuate the cycle of violence, or to not become or stay victims of violence.

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