Chapter 24 Violence Against WomenOn average, more than three women aremurdered by husbands or boyfriends everyday in the United States.
Understanding Violence Against Women• Violence against women is about power and coercive control exerted over another person in the context of a relationship, culture, social and institutional system• Every day images of male violence against women in the media make it appear that violence against women is an accepted fact of life• Due to the appearance that violence against women is acceptable; women may feel that they are at fault or should not complain about violent treatment• When the perpetrator uses violence against a woman through beatings, threats, and isolation; they are acting out a wish to punish, control, and exert dominance
Influence of Identity and Violence Against Women• Women of color, older women, young women, illegal immigrants, lesbians, refugees, poor women, women who are transsexual, are transgender, and women with disabilities are at greater risk for encountering violence• Violence against women and racism are greatly connected• Rape has been used as a means of dominating other races, a tool of cultural genocide in wars, and throughout history of slavery
Reactions to Experiencing Violence• Post traumatic stress disorder is a term used to describe the reexperiencing of trauma and the recollection of the event in images, thoughts, or perceptions.• Some common reactions to experiencing violence include: – Self blame, shame, guilt – Fear, terror, feeling unsafe – Anger and rage – Anger turned inward, depression, and suicidal thoughts – Substance abuse – Eating disorders – Physical symptoms – Self harm – Grief and loss – Powerlessness – Changes in sexuality and intimacy
Rape• The most common forms of sexual assault• The penetration with the use of force and without the person’s consent• The penetration in the vagina, anus, or mouth with a body part or objects such as bottles• Occurs at any age but girls and young women are at greater risk• Women are often blamed for rape• Women may not realize that they have been sexually assaulted until sometime after the assault• Campus rape is the most common violent crime on campuses today• Many college administrations underreport sexual assaults in order to not harm the school’s reputation and finances• Grey rape is the term used to describe the “grey” area between consent and denial, and usually happens due to missed signals, hookups, casual sex, and alcohol• Grey rape masks the reality and severity of nonconsensual sexual activity
Medical Considerations Regarding Rape• It is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible• Rape kits includes: – Collection of any hairs, blood, semen on the woman’s body – Photographs of any injuries, bruises, or scratches – DNA testing of the items in the kit can provide forensic evidence if the case goes to trial• Rape examination includes: – A verbal history of the sexual assault – A pelvic or rectal exam – Checking for external injuries – Prevention of sexually transmitted diseases by means of an antibiotic injection – Prevention of pregnancy by means of “the morning after pill” – A follow up exam that includes STD and pregnancy tests and any treatment for STDs or pregnancy if indicated
Intimate Partner Violence• Intimate partner violence (domestic violence) and battering is the most common and yet least reported crime in the world.• If intimate violence is not addressed in the early stages, it can escalate in severity and magnitude and could ultimately lead to murder• Intimate partner abuse follows a pattern, these patterns can include – Exploiting vulnerabilities – Wearing down resistance through emotional abuse or isolation from family and friends – Increasing emotional dependency by inflicting injuries but then caring for those injuries
Steps to Take if Experiencing Intimate Violence• Call National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799- SAFE)• Build network support• Teach your children how to call 911 for emergency assistance• Look online for additional resources• Learn computer safety• Prepare a safety plan• Study the abuser’s patterns
Stalking• Intentional behavior directed at a person that would cause that person to feel fear• Nonconsensual communication• Verbal, written, or implied threats• Repeated visual or physical proximity by perpetrator
Stalking• Women are 3 times more likely to be stalked• 3 in 4 victims know their stalkers• 30% of stalking involve current or former intimate partners• Current or former intimate partners are more likely to use a weapon
Tips on How to Proceed if You are Being Stalked• Change your patterns-vary your actions and your travel routes• Keep a log of all the encounters with the stalker and record all attempts to contact you• Don’t communicate with the stalker• Make a safety plan• Let friends, neighbors, and family know you are being stalked• Protect your personal information• Install dead bolt locks and hide keys
Sexual Harassment• Unwanted sexual attention• Perpetrator will make direct or implied threats – “Have sex with me or you will be fired”• Refusal to demands may lead to: – Poor work assignments – Sabotaging of projects – Denial of raises, benefits, or promotions – Loss of job
Sex Work and Violence Against Women“When I turned 18, I worked as an erotic dancer. There wereseveral cases of women, myself included, getting attacked byclients after our shifts or if we went outside to have acigarette. In my case, it was a client that we saw quiteregularly and knew by name. The boss found out when Ishowed up for work with bruises, and he told me that if Ireported the client to the police not only would I lose myjob, but that the police wouldn’t care because I was just astripper. He then gave me three nights off with minimal payso my bruises could heal enough to be covered with bodymakeup. He was more concerned about losing money fromclients than he was about the safety of his employees”.
Sex Work and Violence Against Women• All sex workers are at risk for violence• Prostitutes are at risk for contracting HIV and other STDs• Sex workers have little or no protection from police• Criminal justice system prosecutes sex workers while “Johns” or pimps are often let go
Defense and Ending Violence Against Women• Self defense classes – Assertiveness training – Exercise – Boxing – Other sports that promote self reliance, self confidence, and self knowledge• Teach and model nonviolence• Strengthen family and community sanctions against violence• Insist our government officials to take violence against women seriously• Intervene when we see expression of violence, silence helps continue it• Speak out against messages that glorify and encourage violence, domination, and exploitation
Study QuestionWhy do you think women stay in abusiveintimate relationships?