Gender-specific violence against women is a form of violence that is directed against women because they belong to the female gender. This means all kinds of action which cause women physical, sexual or psychological pain or which cause them economic disadvantages. It includes the mere threat of violence, as well as coercion and arbitrary detention, regardless of whether in the public or private sphere.
Gender-specific violence is a human rights violation and discriminates against women. It is not a marginal phenomenon, but determines the everyday life of numerous women in Germany and elsewhere. It affects women from all social milieus, of all ages and levels of education, as well as women with and without migration experience.
Women particularly risk experiencing violence in their close social environment. According to one study, one out of four women in Germany suffers from abuse by their partner. In Europe, this holds true even for one out three women.
Violence against women is rooted in unequal power relations between women and men. Violence against women serves to uphold such social inequality.
Men become victims of violence as well. They experience violence much more frequently in public space, where the perpetrators are often other men. Men also suffer from physical and psychological abuse in their close social environment. There is a need to develop services that support men who are affected by violence.
”Health, Well-Being and Personal Safety of Women in Germany. A Representative Study of Violence against Women in Germany,” prevalence study by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, Berlin 2004 (PDF).