Violence Against Women Isn’t Always Physical

“Violence against women costs taxpayers and the government billions of dollars every year: Canadians collectively spend $7.4 billion to deal with the aftermath of spousal violence alone”

Canadian Women’s Foundation

When we picture violence against women, we generally think of punching, slapping, beating, or isolating them from everyone else. Although these things do happen, women suffer from other issues that could be classified as violence.

Violence doesn’t have to be seen; it can also be simply experienced. For instance, illegally or unjustly affecting financial assets can cause severe issues in female communities. When women are subjected to a lack of resources or lesser pay, it dramatically affects their everyday lives. Mixed with social and emotional abuse, this could lead to feelings of vulnerability, hopelessness, anxiety, and depression (but are not limited to just these things).

According to a study in 2009 by Maureen Outlaw, there were 2-4 times more people reporting experiences of non-physical abuse in their relationships alone. All forms of violence were also correlated with one another, meaning all kinds of non-physical abuse can happen alongside with physical harm. Outlaw also noted that women are more likely to experience economic exploitation, which can be defined as prevention from knowing or having access to family income, even when they ask for it.

Women who suffer from domestic violence often experience psychological abuse as well, like intimidation, threats of physical harm to themselves, partner, children, pets, or family, and destruction of property all awhile facing forced isolation.

This isn’t only exclusive to partner violence; people from their communities or even family can commit these acts against daughters, female friends, sisters, or merely acquaintances. Stalking is one of these offenses, where we’re often afraid to go out at night due to fear of catching unwanted attention. Online or in-person harassment stories can be found anywhere on the internet, look at reddit.com/r/niceguys, one of the most prominent subreddits of all time, are mostly stories of women being left in unwarranted negative situations because their privacy or space was intruded on.

Despite the financial pitfalls of violence, it still isn’t seen as something worth the government funding. In 2018, the Ford government ended the roundtable on violence against women.

If you’re ever suffering from any violence, reach out. Talk to someone, access any resource you can to care for yourself. Sheen for She offers a variety of different services to ensure women are prepared and looked after.

You can also find a list of services and places dedicated to ending violence by the Ending violence association of Canada (not affiliated): https://endingviolencecanada.org/getting-help/

It does not matter what anyone else thinks. If you’re concerned about your safety and your well-being, do what you feel is best for you.

By: Cassie Chen, Sheen for She Team Member

References

Community against violence (n.a). Different Types of Violence.
http://www.taoscav.org/cms-view-page.php?page=different-types-of-violence

Hayes, M., Stone, L. (2018). Ford government disbands Liberals’ expert panel to end violence against
women. The Globe and Mail. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-ford-government-disbands-liberals-expert-panel-to-end-violence/

Outlaw, M. (2009). No One Type of Intimate Partner Abuse: Exploring Physical and Non-Physical Abuse
Among Intimate Partners. Journal of Family Violence, 24(4), 263–272. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10896-009-9228-5

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