Rafael Nunez Aponte: What is Gender-Based Violence? Learn More about It

Gender-Based Violence (GBV) is a term used to describe the harmful acts committed against a person based on the differences that society assigns to men and women separately. While it is sometimes understood that the broader interpretation of gender violence includes specific types of violence against men and boys, both historically and today, the term is used primarily as a way to highlight the vulnerability of women and girls to several forms of violence in the places where they are victims of discrimination because they are women. Important organizations such as UNICEF give us a list of the various forms of GBV. The examples they provide that affect women and girls throughout their life cycle include:

  • Rafael Nunez Aponte: What is Gender-Based Violence? Learn More about It

    Stop abuse against women and girls

    Selective abortion based on gender.

  • Differences in access to food and services.
  • Exploitation and sexual abuse.
  • Child marriage.
  • Mutilation / female genital cutting.
  • Sexual harassment.
  • Abuse in the price of dowry.
  • Honor killings.
  • Domestic or intimate partner violence.
  • Deprivation of inheritance or property.
  • Abuse of the elderly.

Furthermore, institutions such as UNES (Universidad Nacional Experimental de la Seguridad in Spanish), establish a concept of Gender-Based Violence as any act of gender-based violence that has as a possible outcome or real damage to physical, sexual or psychological nature, including threats, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of freedom for women, in public life or in private.

It is important to highlight that there are many institutions and organizations that give support to women and girls victims of abuse. The civil association PLAFAM (Asociación civil de Planificación Familiar) has a program for all the public which objectives are:

  • Rafael Nunez Aponte: What is Gender-Based Violence? Learn More about It

    Child abuse

    Awareness and strengthening institutional capacity on issues of violence, to improve the detection and treatment services to people living in situations of potential or actual risk.

  • Awareness of violence as a public health issue, both in users as in PLAFAM staff.
  • Prevention of GBV situations, implementing education programs and guidance to young people.
  • Promoting research on issues related to violence.
  • Creating intervention and evaluation strategies that allow the optimization of health services.
  • Promote Socio Emotional Empowerment to the victims / survivors of GBV.

With this work, in 2000 PLAFAM received the “International Award Sasakawa 2000” and “Innovative Health Program“, awarded by the WHO, which make the civil association to be committed with the people and also encourages them to continue the work to make visible the Gender-Based Violence topic. Similarly, in 2001, the IPPF / WHR gave awarded PLAFAM for “Excellence“, incorporating a gender perspective in its care services. Finally, the association was selected by the IPPF / WHR in 2003 and in 2010 for technical advice with regard to the incorporation of a service to victims / survivors of GBV in centers of sexual and reproductive health in three Latin American countries.

How PLAFAM Can Help the Victims?

  • Rafael Nunez Aponte: What is Gender-Based Violence? Learn More about It

    Headquarters of PLAFAM

    Individual Psychological counseling (psychotherapy) and group treatment and evaluation, through Emotional Support Groups for Women, Groups Survivors of GBV and GBV psychological evaluation.

  • Attention to children / girls and adolescents victims of sexual violence and providing a service to the legal authorities of this problem such as the Council for the Protection of Children and Adolescents (CPNNA in Spanish) and Ombudsmen Offices, by giving child and adolescent psychological treatment, support groups and counseling preteens, teens and parent in order to protect and guarantee their rights.