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Fact sheet for teens

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Gender-based violence: It’s not just physical 

What is gender-based violence?

Every day, people across the country face violence because of their gender, gender expression, gender identity or perceived gender. This is called gender-based violence (GBV), but what it is or looks like may be more than what you think or have heard.

When we think about GBV, we may think it is someone physically hurting their romantic partner, which it is. But GBV can also include words, actions or attempts to hurt you or someone physically, emotionally or sexually, no matter the relationship with you, in person or online. While there are many types of GBV, they commonly fall into four categories:

Emotional violence

Words or actions to control or scare someone, or to lower their self-respect and self-esteem, including:

Physical violence

Any use or threat to use physical force against a romantic partner or family member, some examples include:

Financial violence

When a person uses money or property to control or exploit someone else, like:

Sexual violence

Acts of sexual violence can be committed by anyone in any setting, even within a relationship. These can include:

Who is affected by gender-based violence?

Women, girls, transgender, and gender diverse people are most affected by GBV. Within these groups, some who are at higher risk of experiencing GBV include:

How does gender-based violence affect me?

Whether you’ve directly experienced GBV or not, it has likely had an impact on your life. GBV can reduce people’s quality of life, change the way we interact with each other, make studying and attending school difficult, increase the risks of illnesses, and create cycles of violence and abuse in families, schools and communities. Gender-based violence holds everyone back.

What can I do to get help?

If you or someone you know is experiencing gender-based violence, talk to a safe adult. Because gender-based violence is never “just one time” or “just words”. It’s never “just” anything — it’s violence. 

Gender-based violence is never just.

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