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25 questions about gender violence to detect mistreatment

25 questions about gender violence to detect mistreatment

May 13, 2023

Gender violence and intimate partner violence they are still a social problem to be taken into account. Multiple people are attacked in different ways or even killed for reasons such as gender stereotypes, or the fact of belonging to a specific sex.

But in many cases people who suffer this type of abuse do not dare to report due to fear of reprisal, to believe that it is a normal behavior or even the possible difficulty of setting the limits when classifying or not a situation like gender violence.

Being able to detect gender violence is an essential requirement to be able to cope with it. That is why there are multiple protocols and procedures dedicated to it. In this article we intend to indicate a series of questions that can help to detect cases of gender violence .

  • Related article: "The 7 types of gender violence (and characteristics)"

Gender violence

It is called gender violence to any act in which it is harassed, assaulted, coerced or in general a harm is caused through violence to a person by the fact of belonging to a specific sex or gender .

Specifically, this type of violence is defined as specifically directed from men towards women because the acts of aggression are carried out based on gender stereotypes they put the female sex as the weak and inferior sex and subjected to the masculine . The aim is to maintain a relationship of domination, superiority and power with the victim, based on these stereotypes. It usually occurs within the couple, although it is not the only one that can be observed.

While there are also men who suffer mistreatment by women and in its concept it would be included as gender violence, not usually considered as such due to its lower frequency and the fact that the reason is not usually belonging to the male gender (although it is possible and occurs in some cases, reason why that the consideration and specificity that the term gender violence has in general currently is criticized).

Nor is violence between people of the same sex considered as such (although gender roles may also be the ones that generate aggression).

  • Maybe you're interested: "Profile of the gender violence abuser, in 12 traits"

The different types of abuse

Gender violence can include very diverse types of violence, such as psychological, physical, sexual or patrimonial . It is common to try to isolate the victim and cause him to be dependent on the aggressor. The violence is usually exercised in three moments or phases: a first of escalation of tension, the own aggression and finally a possible phase of repentance or "honeymoon".

Due to the different forms of aggression that may exist and the different beliefs that some people have about it (for example, some victims believe they deserve such treatment), sometimes it is complicated to identify what situations are or are not mistreat even for the person assaulted. That is why making protocols to identify these situations is necessary.

Questions to detect gender violence

Below we reflect some questions that it is possible to do or that we do in order to detect if some type of gender violence is being suffered.

As with other types of violence, if these questions are asked in an interview it is possible to observe signs of abuse or inconsistencies between the verbal or written response and the nonverbal behavior.

1. What role does a woman have in a relationship? And a man?

This question may seem innocent, but it allows knowing the opinion of the person to whom it is asked (whether the party assaulted or the aggressor) regarding the role of each of the sexes .

2. Do you ever humiliate or criticize you in public or in private?

Although in general the abusers tend not to show any type of aggression in public and circumscribe the aggression to the private sphere, it is sometimes possible to detect a devaluation of the opinion or action of the woman in question when they are in society.

3. Have you ever been pressured to have sex or have you maintained them out of fear of your partner?

Sexual violence, in the form of violation or through coercion , it is also frequent.

4. Have you ever been pushed or hit?

Physical violence is often the easiest to observe both externally and on the part of the victim, although it can sometimes be difficult for the victim to stipulate where an assault begins (for example, they may not consider that a push is such).

5.Do you feel that you are trying to get away from your surroundings?

It is common for the abuser to try to take the person who has been attacked from his surroundings, making him dependent as much as possible.

6. Does it bother you that you have male friends or that you have contact with family and friends?

For the same reason as in the previous one, the existence of contact with other men or close relationships can be seen as a threat to their relationship.

7. Have you ever picked up your mobile and looked at your messages without permission?

Jealousy and the possibility of being abandoned often causes the abuser to try to control interactions with other people.

  • Related article: "The types of jealousy and their different characteristics"

8. Do you send messages continuously to know where and with whom you are?

Another very frequent element that is observed in the abuse is the exhaustive control of what the assaulted woman does, and especially with whom. Sometimes they even demand pictures and tests.

9. Does he insult you or does he give you derogatory nicknames?

Making the victim feel inferior is a frequent mechanism in gender violence, which can serve to keep it under control and subdued.

10. Has your partner ever threatened you or one of your loved ones or made you feel as if they were in danger if you did not do or stopped doing something?

Vicarious violence, especially with children, is used to coerce and sometimes this prevents the victim from making decisions such as reporting or leaving his or her partner.

11. Do you feel safe in your home?

People who experience gender violence often feel uneasy at home, afraid to do something that triggers an aggression .

12. Do you frequently compare yourself to other people and put you below them?

Again, a frequent method to weaken the victim's self-esteem is to point out the aspects in which, for the aggressor, the victim is inferior by comparing it with other people.

13. Have you ever tried to report or withdraw a complaint to your partner?

Today there are a large number of complaints of gender violence that are withdrawn due to the promise of the abuser to change or fear of possible repercussions for the victim or their environment.

14. Does it prevent you or try to convince you not to work?

The need to have power over women It often induces that it does not work, being economically dependent on the subject.

15. Decide for you?

Again, this question tries to make one think about whether there is a restriction of freedom and whether there is independence with respect to the other member of the couple.

16. Have you ever had to hide bruises?

It is common for people who suffer gender violence to try to hide the marks that physical aggressions cause, being frequent the marks of fingers, bites, and punches in the face and other areas of the body.

17. Have you ever told yourself that you are worthless, that you deserve to be dead or that he is the only one who could love you and you should be grateful?

These types of statements can be relatively frequent and victims can come to believe them, causing a low self-esteem and the feeling that the aggressor is superior .

  • Related article: "Gaslighting: the most subtle emotional abuse"

18. When you go out, does it force you to fix yourself or not?

Some abusers use their partners as a trophy to show in public, which forces them to get ready and be spectacular. In other cases, they are forced to keep a low profile and look as unattractive as possible so that they can not attract other people.

19. Does it prevent or prohibit you from doing something you want?

The restriction of freedoms either directly through force or prohibition or through the use of devaluations of certain actions are very frequent in situations of gender violence.

20. Do you think you can deserve a slap from your partner?

Although most people would say no, the manipulation to which they are subjected makes some victims consider themselves worthy of abuse.

21. What do you think would happen to your children if you left your husband?

Sometimes It is the presence of children and the possible repercussions for them that restrains the victims of gender violence to denounce and / or cease the relationship with the aggressor.

22. Have you ever threatened or hit your children to make you do something, or blamed you for having to hit them?

Vicarious violence is used as a mechanism to coerce the victim and force her to remain submissive.

23. Do you think that ill-treatment only occurs in broken families?

There is a myth that mistreatment only occurs in broken families , in which there is drug use or in families with few resources and with little education. In fact, it is possible to observe gender violence in very diverse situations, regardless of the socioeconomic level or the type of family.

24. Do you consider that violence and abuse occur only when there are blows?

Many women and many men believe that the use of insults or undervalues ​​can not be considered gender violence , considering that only physical aggressions are mistreatment.

25. Are you afraid or have you ever been afraid of him?

A direct question, but that allows a simple answer and that the victim reflects on what he feels for his partner. Despite this, we must bear in mind that in some cases they may feel that the aggressor needs them or even express gratitude for the abuse.

Bibliographic references:

  • Jara, P. and Romero, A. (2009). Evaluation scale of the type and phase of gender violence. Jornades de Foment de la Investigació. Universitat Jaume I.
  • Pérez, J.M. and Montalvo, A. (2010). Gender violence: analysis and approach to its causes and consequences. Gender violence: prevention, detection and attention. Editorial Group. p. 322.
  • Tourné, M .; Ruiz, M .; Escribano, M.C .; Gea, A. and Salmerón, E. (2007). Protocol for the detection and care of gender violence in primary care. Murciano Health Service.

Sexual violence and female silence: how rape suppresses voice | Naomi Wolf | TEDxSBU (May 2023).

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