Gender Based Violence

Elsevier, Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 75, October 2020
Despite legislation, dowry is still widespread in many parts of India and adjacent countries. It refers to the transfer of goods, money, and property to a bridegroom, his parents, or his relatives from a bride's family as a condition of the marriage. One of the consequences of the dowry system has been the murder or abetted suicide of young wives, either because more dowry goods were not provided to her husband or his family, or to secure the goods after marriage. In 2015 7634 women died due to dowry harassment, representing approximately 21 cases per day in India.
International advocacy and evidence have been critical for shifting the pervasive issue of violence against women onto the health agenda. Guidelines and training packages, however, can be underpinned by Western principles of responding to individual survivors of violence and availability of specialist referral services, which may not be available in many countries.
Sexual violence is a universal phenomenon without restriction to sex, age, ethnicity or social class that causes devastating effects in the physical and mental health spheres, in the short-term and long-term, such as pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections (STI) and greater susceptibility to psychiatric symptoms, especially depression. Some cases of sexual assault and rape are based on the use of so-called drug-facilitated sexual assault (DFSA), which cause victims’ loss of consciousness and inability to defend, making them vulnerable to violence.
Background: There is a growing body of research exploring how intimate partner violence affects contraceptive decision-making, recognizing that these decisions are reflective not only of access and acceptability, but also spousal power imbalances. Unfortunately, there is a dearth of knowledge regarding contraceptive choices following gender-based violence during pregnancy. There are an estimated 7·8 million in India affected by violence during pregnancy, and an ongoing, heavy reliance on female sterilization as the dominant form of contraception.
Estimates by the World Health Organization indicate that 1 in 3 women—more than one billion people worldwide—have experienced some form of Gender-Based Violence (GBV).
Elsevier, The Lancet, Volume 385, 18 April 2015
Health systems have a crucial role in a multisector response to violence against women. Some countries have guidelines or protocols articulating this role and health-care workers are trained in some settings, but generally system development and implementation have been slow to progress. Substantial system and behavioural barriers exist, especially in low-income and middle-income countries.