Gender-based violence is a common problem across the world. Most women are affected by the acts of discrimination committed by men and even other women. Johnson states that Canada is one of the nations that has advanced in promoting equality of the sexes (2005). Both genders are accorded respect and viewed as having equal capabilities. However, despite the change in the social landscape, there are many instances of women and young girls being affected by rape, sex trafficking, and domestic abuse. According to Moritsugu et al., physical and psychological torture associated with the violence affect their lives negatively (2016). Consequently, it damages their self-esteem and leads them to despair. As explained by Arboleda-Florez, mental illness may cause some individuals to contemplate committing suicide (2005).
Violence against women has enormous implications to the society and the economy, due to the burden associated with treating and housing the victims. Therefore, it is essential to establish the causes of gender-based violence, its impact, and possible remedies.
Based on the ecological model, there are several risks associated with gender-based violence. Crimes perpetrated against females have considerable implications in their individual lives, among which, low self-esteem is the primary risk. Moritsugu et al., asserts that lack of confidence affects their performances, leading to failures in their careers and discontentment in their personal lives (2016). For instance, when young girls are raped, they develop a negative perspective against men. Such a notion interferes with their social lives by inhibiting interaction with the opposite gender. Also, some of them register poor results in academics while others might opt to drop off school (Johnson, 2005). Additionally, some engage in drug abuse to find comfort, which affects their lives negatively in the future. Likewise, in the workplace, women facing violence, harassment or abuse have limited concentration. Their lack of trust affects interaction with men, which hampers their teamwork abilities. Consequently, due to a feeling of valuelessness, the victims put little effort into their work. Low sense of worth deters the ambitions of women, making them passive in community issues.
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Chiefly, close partner encounters affect relationship development. Women who are in abusive relationships pick fights with their spouses continuously, making their lives and those of their children extremely unstable and anxiety-ridden (Donna & Michelle, 2015). Regular arguments cause anger, emotional insecurity, and depression that lead to health deterioration (Johnson, 2005). In extreme cases, breakups create more pain for the women. Medical cost associated with therapies and antidepressants is a massive blow to the victims. Besides, children are impacted by the differences of their parents while they fight for their custody. Reliance on help from the government and well-wishers limit the opportunities that women have. Families are the building block of the society, and failure of such institutions affects the development of the whole country (Moritsugu et al., 2016). Homelessness linked to the gender-based violence is also costly to the government because finances set aside to provide for social amenities are diverted to cater to the needs of the affected individuals (Arboleda-Florez, 2005). Therefore, tackling this menace is vital for the well-being of the country.
Gender-based violence leads to poverty in society because school dropout girls have their potentials limited. Consequently, they might underperform in whichever employment that they could fill. Therefore, some of them are fired while others decide to quit (Johnson, 2005). Helplessness forces the women to rely on other people for their survival. Nonetheless, the lack of finances causes some to depend on government and charitable organizations for support. Accommodations for the homeless are overcrowded, which can cause an outbreak of diseases. Recurrent expenditures to provide for displaced women deter economic development. For that reason, the community has to cover the cost of maintaining homeless individuals. Taxpayers’ money is used in providing for the basic needs of the displaced (Arboleda-Florez, 2005). Fighting gender inequality is essential in promoting the holistic growth of the community, which in turn leads to economic development. A happy society is more productive as compared to those facing issues.
Chiefly, the reduction of violence against women is promoted by the coordination between the government, public, and non-governmental organizations. Community participation is the best approach to tackle the menace (Moritsugu et al., 2016). Educating members on the importance of respect and accommodating divergent views of each member in the society aid in the reduction of male initiated violence. Social activism helps in sensitization of the consequences of gender-based violence. Transformation in the community is realized if the men in the society are convinced that violence is outdated, and women deserve respect. Moritsugu et al. (2016), explains that citizen participation in different activities is essential in building a cohesive community. Self-help groups provide the best solution in individual levels. Equally, when women join such teams, they share their troubles and find appropriate remedies. Through social support, depressed girls and women can gain control of their lives by reducing vulnerability. Equally, they share business ideas, which help them develop economically (Johnson, 2005). Organizing joint debates settle the differences between women and men. Such initiatives lead to vibrant societies that is against discrimination of any kind.
Another measure to curb the problem is the provision of quality education. When young girls are educated, they become independent, reducing reliance on their male counterparts. The government should promote good education, to bridge the inequality gap in the nation (Donna & Michelle, 2015). Skill training for women allow them to manage their lives, and in case of violence, they can cater to their needs. According to Moritsugu et al. (2016), employment opportunities support women overcome the financial challenges they are facing. As a result, they are not forced to preserve abusive relationships since they can afford to live on their own. Contrariwise, education enables men to understand the need for respect and tolerance in their families. Violence is an archaic way of conflict resolution that is unfortunately existent in modern society. People can negotiate and reach an agreement whatever their differences maybe.
The third preventive measure is quality response services. Skilled and trained personnel should always be on standby to provide help to the victims. Even though long-term actions involve eradicating violence, some isolated cases need immediate attention. According to Arboleda-Florez, doctors and psychologists should be available to help in the treatment and counseling of affected people (2005). The said initiative reduces mental health issues associated with the crimes. Affected women need compassion that can be provided through support groups (Johnson, 2005). By sharing their encounters, they release the anger and reduce their suffering. Also, providing shelters to displaced individuals decrease suicidal tendencies.
Implications for Policy Development
Realization of suggested solutions requires the implementation of a suitable framework. All the policies to be implemented are guided by the desire to reduce the impact of violence against women. Education policy ought to accommodate gender equality issues and focus on skill development. On the other hand, stringent laws should be set to punish the perpetrators. Strict measures lessen the number of instances of such cases (Moritsugu et al., 2016). Consequently, provision of support to the victims should be guided by a comprehensive approach. Effective services should be within the reach of members of the community.
On the other hand, the government should provide adequate support to community-based organizations. Such groups offer guidance and counseling, as well as psychological support to affected females. The last aspect in framework formulation should cater for the provision of shelters (Arboleda-Florez, 2005). Displaced persons need a place to recover from the inflictions of abusive relationships. Provision of necessary amenities in such homes aids them to redefine the purpose of life, reducing depression and associated suicide rates.
Dealing with gender-based crimes requires an understanding of the underlying human behaviors. Once the significant cause of the crimes is known, different stakeholders tackle the root causes of the vice. Focusing on the social environment eradicate the violence as it promotes a cultural shift in the community. For that reason, it is vital to improve the quality of life of the vulnerable individuals. It is advantageous to them to have a voice in the community and air their grievances. Empowering the marginalized groups makes them feel valuable in society. The psychologists should advocate for policy development and the promotion of human rights. Equality promotes happiness in individual-level, resulting in growth to society.
Works Cited Arboleda-Florez J. 2005. The epidemiology of mental illness in Canada. Canadian Public policy- Analyse De Politiques, Vol. XXXISuplement. Donna L Ansara, & Michelle J Hindin. (2010). Exploring gender differences in the patterns of intimate partner violence in Canada: a latent class approach. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health (1979- ), (10), 849. Johnson, H. (2005). Assessing the prevalence of violence against women in Canada. Statistical Journal of the UN Economic Commission for Europe, 22(3/4), 225–238. Moritsugu, J., Vera, E., Wong, F., & Duffy, K. (2016). Community psychology (5th ed.). New York: Routledge.