01. What is gender-based violence?

Illustration and animation: Michael Mascarenas
Sound design: Sonar Music
'Change the Story' framework: Our Watch

Women’s and Girls’ Emergency Centre acknowledges the traditional custodians of country throughout Australia. We recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ continuing connection to land, waters and culture and pay our respect to Elders past and present.Sovereignty was never ceded. This was, is and always will be Aboriginal land.

What is gender-based violence?

Gender-based violence is any act of abuse committed against someone because of their gender. The United Nations define it as “physical, sexual or psychological harm”. Threats, stalking, cyber abuse, emotional, verbal, financial, cultural and reproductive coercion are all gender-based violence. It includes physical and non-physical acts that intimidate or create fear.

Sometimes it is a one-off incident, for others it is a pattern of abuse over a long period of time.

The context where abuse happens means that we use terms like domestic or family violence, intimate partner violence, lateral violence, domestic abuse, sexual assault, or workplace harassment.

Gender-based violence is a product of the patriarchy; a system that benefits and prioritises men and does not give women the same opportunities. It shapes our family structures, systems of government, business, law and communities. It limits freedom and choice.

Gender-based violence, gender inequality and victim-blaming can make it really hard for victim-survivors to seek the support and the resources they need.

At Women’s and Girls’ Emergency Centre, we support women and children in crisis. We also partner with communities, private and public sector entities to challenge gender inequality with the aim of ending gender-based violence in a generation.

If you or someone you know needs support in Australia call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) or go to www.wagec.org.au