When gender violence becomes subtle: more than once

Gender-based violence is called physical, psychological, economic, sexual and symbolic violence. which are produced towards the woman by the simple fact of being a woman. This does not mean that there are no cases of woman-to-man violence, but due to the severity, intensity and frequency of violence against women, this category was constructed to bring to the table the large number of cases of violence and deaths of women who continue to die.

However, in practice we usually pay attention mainly to cases of physical violence or murder linked to this type of violence. We leave that off the map other subtle forms of gender-based violence.

    How does gender-based violence manifest itself?

    Gender-based violence has different faces, let’s list and characterize some of them.

    Physical violence

    Refers to ‘ abuse directed at the body, Such as pulling hair, pushing, struggling, hitting, burning, dying.

    Psychological violence

    This includes insults, yelling, manipulation, disqualification, contempt, Indifference, pathological jealousy, isolation, threats, harassment, control.

    Sexual violence

    This ranges from having to force someone to have sex by force, or situations of harassment, sexual abuse, rape, to trafficking in women.

    Economic violence

    Money and property are used as a form of keep control and power.

    Symbolic violence

    It consists in the naturalization of the role of woman as weak and inferior. We can observe it in sentences, ideas, stereotypes, Prejudices which reproduce the inequality between men and women perceived as inferiority.

    Why do acts of violence last over time?

    You have probably heard of situations (or maybe it happened to you) where after committing an act of violence in a relationship, after hours, days or weeks, the relationship would seem to go on as if nothing had happened. The violent person apologizes, the raped person forgives, and an atmosphere of love, hope and tranquility reigns.

    But over time, heated discussions, tensions, fighting resume and even violence reappears. This is due to a repetitive mechanism by which gender violence is installed in the form of a circle or a cycle.

    What are the moments of this violent cycle?

    The phases that we can frame in this cycle are as follows.

    1. Psychological aggression

    Violence does not accompany the relationship from the start. Even the first physical abuse does not appear without first presenting traits of psychological abuse. The ground is prepared for the first time. It can start with insults, manipulation, disqualification, pathological jealousy, isolation, control or indirect violence.

      2. Tension and physical aggression

      When the climate of tension is great and words and insults no longer come, the violent one resorts to irruption with the body, marking who commands, Who has the power there. Grows, pineapples, kicks, burns. The escalation of violence can lead to death.

      3. Sorry

      There may be remorse in the abuser for the act committed or false repentance for its own benefit. It is at this stage that he proceeds with the order of excuses, justifications, promises never to do so again.

      4. Forgiveness and excitement: the honeymoon

      Out of love, fear or addiction, among other factors, the raped woman forgives.

      5. Apparent peace: the cycle begins again

      The climate of love and harmony prevails, little or nothing remains of the violent act. Everything is love, reconciliation, tenderness, excitement. This will be overcome when the tension returns to the violent and choose again to unload all her strength and her troubles on this woman, once again a victim of gender-based violence.

      Time will pass, the excuses will return, “love”, until the cycle begins again.

      What about the children of victims of gender-based violence?

      The exposure of children, as witnesses of violence against women, has serious consequences for children, at the emotional, behavioral, evolutionary, cognitive and bonding levels. Here are a few.

      • Stress, anxiety, sadness, Anxiety disorders, excessive responsibilities.
      • Impulse control deficit, irritability, aggressive shocks, oppositionism.
      • Fear, helplessness, guilt for not knowing how to help the mother or for not being able to defend her.
      • Depression, low self-esteem, frustration, insecurity, emotional instability.

      • Learning difficulties, academic failure, problems with attention and concentration.
      • Difficulty bonding with others, To solve social problems, lack of social skills, mistrust, lack of empathy.
      • Eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, lack of appetite).
      • Sleep disorders.
      • Psychosomatic symptoms such as secondary enuresis and encopresis, asthma, allergies.

      Finally, perceived violence can be internalized and, in many cases, expressed as antisocial behavior, bad behavior in school, crime or substance use. In short, gender-based violence does not only affect women. It extends to children, to those who suffer the consequences in the short and long term.

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