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Fact sheet for young adults

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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 often think only about physical violence against an intimate partner. But GBV can include words, actions or attempts to harm another person 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 frighten someone, or to lower their self-respect and self-esteem, whether they are said or carried out calmly or not, including:

Physical violence

Any use or threat to use physical force against someone else, including but not limited to:

Financial violence

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

Sexual violence

Acts of sexual violence can be committed by anyone in any setting, regardless of their relationship to the survivor. 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 it or not, GBV has likely had an impact on your life. GBV has long-lasting effects that span generations, creating cycles of abuse and violence among families and communities. Gender-based violence holds everyone back.

What can I do to stop gender-based violence?

For GBV to end, we need to recognize and learn what violence can look like. We need to listen to survivors and not dismiss acts of GBV as “just one time” or “just words”. We need to work together, because gender-based violence is never just anything — it’s violence.

Gender-based violence is never just.

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