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The causes and effects of gender violence

The causes and effects of gender violence

June 20, 2024

"There are criminals who proclaim so happy 'I killed her because she was mine', just like that, as if it were common sense and fair of all justice and private property rights, which makes man the woman's owner. But none, none, nor the most macho of the supermachos has the courage to confess 'I killed her for fear', because after all the woman's fear of the violence of man is the mirror of man's fear of women without fear."

-Eduardo Galeano

There is a long history of generations and centuries through which the inequality between men and women has been legitimized, always based on a myriad of arguments: theological, psychological, moral and even biological.


This way of thinking has enshrined multiple forms of aberrant treatment towards women, covert treatments and fed in the strictest privacy, however, to this day it is frankly impossible to continue hiding this reality.

It may interest you: "The 30 signs of psychological abuse in a relationship"

First approaches to gender violence

It is very common to talk about this topic confusing terms and mix meanings, so first of all we should differentiate the dichotomy between violence Y aggressiveness, to avoid offering value judgments and making certain stereotyped attributions.

Aggression and violence

We understand then how aggressiveness that innate and adaptive capacity of the human being that guarantees its own survival, while the concept of violence responds to a set of social values ​​associated with aggression, so that in this case we are facing a maladaptive and socially learned behavior.


When a woman who is the victim of gender violence requires professional intervention, a group of particulars must be taken into account so as not to fall into the trap of trivializing her experience, offering contributions that involuntarily blame her or that awaken in her a certain sense of incomprehension.

Characteristics of gender violence

  • The violent event is not the result of an isolated event, since occurs systematically .
  • They are usually invisible, that is, appear in a private environment and it is the women themselves who hide in the panic that generates them having to expose their reality.
  • Many times the aggressor offers an impeccable image towards society , which unfortunately turns the situation into a difficult state to believe or understand.
  • There is a feeling in the victims that the circumstances they are experiencing are not so serious as to manifest them publicly, a fact that entails an added difficulty when seeking external help.
  • All this gear is the result of an authentic inequality between men and women derived from the patriarchal code that still resonates among society today. This code is the same that leads the aggressor to use mechanisms of control and condemnation of women.

How does the operation of gender violence occur?

The violence in a relationship does not appear overnight, it goes through endless crossroads before the victim can identify the ordeal that will bring the link with his attacker. According to American psychologist Leonor Walker, the violence runs through a cycle composed of three phases .


When a woman enters the bowels of this circle is when she stops seeing possible alternatives to escape and is prey to the situation. It generates a cognitive dissonance between the enjoyment lived in the relationship and the nameless discomfort that suffers, because contrary to what is usually thought not only screams, insults, threats and blows, there is also tenderness, affection and sweet details that make the woman bloom in the thought of having finally found the man of her life.

First phase: increase in tension in the couple

In the first phase of the cycle the malaise without name begins to come to life, an increase in tension between both members is perceived , timid indications are established of what will later be the aggression, such as shouting and small fights. The woman accepts these abuses as legitimately addressed to her because she thinks that she may be worthy of such aggression.

The aggrieved person tries to find an endless number of excuses and reasons to understand what is happening, to the point of assuming that it is by her behavior or attitude that she has provoked the wrath of her aggressor, and what perpetuates the cycle, tends to think that over time you can change the behavior of your partner, a fact that in no case is met.

This phase it can have a duration of days, weeks, months or even years before, no major incidents of aggression are triggered.In the perspective of man, he is increasingly sensitive, everything bothers him, irritates with great ease, and gets angry about objectively insignificant things.

Second phase: fury breaks out

In the second phase proposed by L. Walker an uncontrollable discharge of tensions is experienced that have been accumulating during the course of the previous phase. There is a lack of mastery over the totally destructive behavior, the woman accepts that the anger of her aggressor is out of control but can not do anything to calm her, it is in this phase when physical aggression or total psychological destruction arises.

The aggressor is the only one who can end this state. Its duration is around 2 to 24 hours, during which the woman is blamed for everything that happened. It should be noted that it is at this time that the woman is completely susceptible and is open to receiving professional help due to the great fear she feels about being mistreated again.

Third phase: repentance of the aggressor

In the third and last phase before restarting the whole cycle, a state of deep regret is experienced by the aggressor , which takes advantage of the vulnerability of the victim to offer him docile doses of affection and attention, showing at all times a behavior and an attitude of affliction and internal remorse.

It is in this moment where the whole cycle of violence is perpetuated, that the woman feels again loved and happy, which leads to placing herself in a position of full confidence towards her aggressor. The duration of this stage denotes a shorter than the first phase but higher than the second, so try to offer help at this time will not provide any positive result, the woman is again deeply in love and subject to the will of her attacker. As the cycle repeats itself, this third phase tends to be minimized until it finally disappears, at which point the Honeymoon comes to an end.

Some conclusions

The feeling that there is no way out

The repetition of these cycles is what usually leads to an increase in violence, which translates into a greater danger for women, who begins to think that there is no alternative or possible way out, submerging in the deepest surrender. The certain thing is that, sometimes, shocking or traumatic events leave anchored to who suffers them in the day or time in which they happened, thus activating a state of shock that can paralyze all life in a second .

Complaints that end up being withdrawn

The repeated succession of these cycles is also the reason why many women tend to withdraw the interposed complaints and many even want to return with their aggressors to resume the relationship, a situation that most of society never comes to understand.

About him Day against gender violence

We must not promote the no to gender violence a single day a year, must be a constant speaker to reach those ears that have lost all will to move forward, the first step should be to become aware of how this web that subtly envelops its victim is woven and evolved.

"More than thirty thousand women appear as victims of gender violence in all of the 32,023 complaints filed in the judicial bodies. The requests for protection orders were increased by more than 9 percent. The president of the Observatory, Ángeles Carmona, understands that the increase in complaints and convictions may reveal a greater social and institutional awareness of gender violence "

(Communication Judicial Power, October 19, 2015)


Violence: Causes and Effects in Society (June 2024).


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