Gender Based Violence And Related Legislation Criminology Essay

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Gender Based Violence is one of the most prevalent social issues bearing negatively on the society and with far and wider reaching implications. The issue leaves victims, witnesses and the perpetrators with physical and psychological marks that they may have to live with for the rest of their lives. It is one of the issues that do not recognize, economic, social, religion, racial or cultural boundaries and can perpetuate itself in any society and within any class of people. However, there has been notable effort by authorities to address the problem through enactment of appropriate laws. In this respect, Gender Based Violence is identified for analysis in this discussion beginning with its definition on a social context addressing the causes, forms, society's response and view on the issue and its implications on the society and individuals. The analysis then identifies ethical concerns related to the issue as well as determines the population that is mostly affected. There is also identification of a US Legislation that is before Congress and related to Gender Based Violence describing it's status and relation to the issue.


Social context


Gender Based Violence denotes any violence that id directed at a person based on their gender identity, biological sex or adherence to norms of feminine or masculinity. It includes psychological and physical abuse as well as coercion, threats, economic & liberty deprivation which could either be in private or public. Although women and children are the ones most prone to the violence, the term Gender Based Violence is interchangeably used with the term; violence against women. (USAID, 2012).


Gender Based Violence can basically be classified into three categories based on its nature and perpetrators. This can be intimate partner violence, sexual violence or stalking, sexual trafficking, forced labor, neglect & elder abuse as well as sexual coercion and abuse. (USAID, 2012) However, violence directed at teens and children could be dating violence, domestic violence or sexual assault. (US, 2013)


Causes of Gender Based Violence widely vary ranging from discrimination and unequal gender relations in the society to attitudes and behaviors towards women in communities. In addition disruption of communities' social structures affecting perceived geneder roles like loss of men's ability as the family providers could be a cause of geneder violence. (CDC, 2013). Other causes include poverty and frustrations in the society brought about by factors like lack of employment as well as drugs and substance abuse. (USAID, 2012)

Consequences on individuals and society

Among the greatest implications and consequences that Gender Based Violence has on individuals is the physical and psychological health deterioration with those who have ever experienced cases of gender violence being more likely to complain of persistent headaches, sleeping disorders and chronic pain. (CDC, 2013) These effects on individuals have a greater effect on the society and its welfare in that victims could become less productive or less socially active. Example includes the greater impact on society when women are exposed to geneder violence as they are less likely to earn a living or take good care of their children. (USAID, 2013)

Society's view and response

The way the society has previously dealt with the issue can be puzzling with victims suffering with less or no help from the society they live in. This has been the case with the violence cases taking places and being condoned by institutions, communities and families including religion centers and schools. (CDC, 2013)

However, the US government is taking the matter with seriousness with Congress having passed two main legislations to address violence directed on women. Some of the laws that have been passed and which are operational include the Violence against women Act and the Violence prevention and services Act. (US, 2013)

Ethical concerns

Regarding the ethical concerns related to Gender Based Violence, a look at the society's view of the cases relating to reporting, response and research sheds light as to the ethical dilemmas that those involved find themselves in.


Many cases that qualify for definition as Gender Based Violence tend to remain unreported in the society by individuals and even institutions which could have afforded help to the victims. This is related to the cases implications on the involved people's personal lives and the society's view of the issue. Other cases remain underreported with crucial information remaining hidden for the purported purpose of victims and perpetrators' safety. (USAID, 2012).


Violence cases usually present respective workers with ethical dilemmas in their duties. This is caused by the cases' ability to negatively impact on the involved workers and victim's personal relationships and lives. This has remained one of the greatest causes of victims not accessing appropriate help. In addition, other organizations and individuals who ported to respond to the victims' cries tend to abuse them by seeking for help in terms of funds and support which ends benefiting them rather than the intended victims. (USAID, 2012)


Comprehensive research on Gender Based Violence can be a great milestone towards addressing the problem in the society. However, the cases presents an ethical dilemma for those involved with the greater risks involved and the safety of those mandated to conduct research being compromised. Such effects include traumatisation of victims and those involved in research hence the issue not being fully addressed through research. (USAID, 2012)

Affected population

According to CDC's 2010 survey results, on average, 24 people are abused in US per minute through rape, stalking or intimate partner's violence. Consequently, this translates to 12 million people per year both women and men. (CDC, 2010) In a global view, 1 out of 3 women experience gender based violence in their life time. This can be through abuse, coercion for sex as well as being beaten. (USAID, 2013)

Current legislation dealing with Gender Based Violence

In a bid to address and arrest the rampant cases of Gender Based Violence, The US Legislators have of late being involved in enacting necessary legislations appropriate to the issue. A good example is the Bill S. 47: A bill to reauthorize the Violence Against women Act of 1994. If passed it will be; Violence Against women reauthorization Act 2013. (Congress, 2013)

The law's description

The proposed law is a bill that was introduced to Senate by Senator Patrick Leahy on January 22, 2013. The bill was reported by Committee on January 28, 2013 and now awaiting to pass Senate, House and then get the Presidents consent. (Congress, 2013)

The laws relation to Gender based violence

The new law seeks to provide a wide approach in coordination, identification, integration and leveraging of the current and renewed efforts and resources to prevent Gender Based Violence and provide victims with a remedy and necessary support. (US, 2013)

To address the gender violence issue, the law seeks to enhance law enforcement and judicial tools in combating violence against women. It also seeks to exert pressure for improved service to victims of domestic, dating and sexual violence as well as establish violence prevention practices. In addition, the bill proposes strengthening of healthcare response systems and establishment of safe homes for victims. The law also calls for securing of economic survival of victims and for battered immigrant's protection. (Congress 2013)