Submitted By 1261
Words: 7929
Pages: 32

VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN Violence against women is a pervasive and widespread plague on our society- one that crosses geographic, economic and racial lines. While men are also victims of a family violence, women overwhelmingly are the targets especially when it comes to sexual assault and psychological abuse. So why should we care about violence against women? Chances are, someone close to you has been, is or will be a victim. This is not something that only happens to “other people” or in “those families.” Whether aware of it or not, a woman close to you is experiencing violence: be this your daughter, sister, friend, cousin or co- worker. The consequences of violence against women- in terms of metal, physical and social health are severe and often chronic. Women and girls in violent relationships are at heightened risk of experiencing psychological and behavioral problems, including depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, substance used and post-traumatic stress disorder. In addition to the obvious bruises, broken bones and unintentional pregnancies, abused women are vulnerable to a host of physical health complaints due to stress on their immune system and lack of receiving timely medical attention. The high prevalence and severe consequences of partner violence also results in substantial economic costs for health care and lost productivity, with an estimated yearly cost approaching 6 billion pesos. But it’s more than that. For every woman unable to hold down a job because her husband beats her, for every girl raped by her boyfriend and forced to become pregnant, for every child who witnesses his or her parents hit each other, we lose as a society.
Violence against women is not an act against an individual woman; it is an attack against us all-to our country, to our community, to our loved ones.

A known writer and feminist psychologist in the name of Anita Hill wrote that “women and children who tell are not always believed; women and children who tell become emotionally wasted; women and children who tell are not always supported but are often condemned.”
These factors, among others, chiefly contribute to the hesitance of the victims to report the abuses they experience. This therefore aids in fostering criminality against women and children.
To understand Violence Against Women (VAW), one has to see the phenomenon from the perspective of women themselves. One has to get off from the simply psychological, economic, moral or legalistic point of view- that violence happens because of bad childhood experiences; or poverty pushes men to commit crimes; or because man is sinful. To look at VAW from women’s lenses means that their experience, their vulnerabilities, their voices have to take center stage. Radhika Coomaraswamy, UN Special Rapporteur on VAW, notes that “the world must listen to the voices of women, if it is to recover its humanity.
The United Nations Declaratio on the elimination of violence against women (DEVAW, 1993) defines “violence against women” as “any of the gender- based violence that results in, or likely to result in physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life.”
Violence Against women is violence that is gender-based. Gender- based violence means that women are subjected to violence or abuse simply because they are women. Factors such as class status, race, educational background, age or even looks are but secondary to the gender factors in this case(National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women, 2005).VAW is a manifestation of the gender hierarchy in the society as well as a tool to maintain that hierarchy.

VAW strikes at the personhood of women. It does not only affect women’s physical and reproductive health,