Definition of gender-based violence

Gender-based violence can be defined as violence directed against a person because of that person's gender (including gender identity/expression) or as violence that affects persons of a particular gender disproportionately.

Women and girls, of all ages and backgrounds, are most affected by gender-based violence. It can be physical, sexual and/or psychological, and includes

  • violence in close relationships
  • sexual violence (including rape, sexual assault and harassment or stalking)
  • slavery
  • harmful practices, such as forced marriages, female genital mutilation (FGM) and so-called ‘honour’ crimes
  • cyberviolence and harassment using new technologies