When gender violence becomes subtle: much more than a blow
Physical violence, psychological, economic, sexual, symbolic abuse is called gender violence that are produced towards women by the simple fact of being a woman. This does not mean that there are no cases of violence from a woman to a man, but because of the gravity, intensity and frequency of violence against women this category was built to bring to the table the large number of cases of violence and deaths of women that do not stop happening.
However, in practice we tend to pay attention basically to cases of physical abuse or murder linked to this type of violence. We leave off the map other forms of gender violence that are subtle.
- Related article: "The causes and effects of gender violence"
How is gender violence manifested?
Gender violence has different faces, we will list and characterize some of them.
It refers to Abuse directed to the body , such as hair pulling, shoving, struggling, hitting, burns, death.
Includes insults, shouting, manipulation, disqualification, contempt , indifference, pathological jealousy, isolation, threats, harassment, control.
It goes from forcing someone to have sexual relations by force, or situations of harassment, sexual abuse, rape, even trafficking of women.
Money and goods are used as a way to maintain control and power .
It consists in the naturalization of the role of women as weak and inferior. We can observe it in phrases, ideas, stereotypes , prejudices that reproduce the inequality between man and woman seen as inferiority.
Why are violent acts sustained over time?
Surely you have heard situations (or perhaps it happened to you) where after committing a violent act in a couple, after hours, days or weeks, the relationship would seem to continue as if nothing had happened . The violent person apologizes, the violated person forgives and reigns an atmosphere of love, hope and tranquility.
But with the passage of time, the strong arguments, tensions, fights and again violence begin again. This is due to a repetitive mechanism with which gender violence is installed in the form of a circle or cycle.
What are the moments of this violent cycle?
The phases that we can fit into that cycle are the following.
1. Psychological aggressions
Violence does not accompany the relationship from the beginning. Even the first physical abuse does not appear without first presenting traits of psychological violence . The ground is prepared for the first blow. It can be initiated with insults, manipulation, disqualification, pathological jealousy, isolation, control or indirect violence.
- Maybe you're interested: "The 30 signs of psychological abuse in a relationship"
2. Stress and physical aggression
When the climate of tension is great and the words and insults no longer reach, the violent one resorts to the irruption with the body, marking who sends Who has the power there? Pushes, pineapples, kicks, burns. The escalation of violence can reach death.
There may be repentance in the violent for the act committed or a false repentance for their own benefit . It is at that moment where he proceeds with the request for apologies, justifications, promises not to act like that ever again.
4. Forgiveness and illusion: the honeymoon
For love, to keep the family "united", to believe in the promises, to be deluded in that there will really be changes, or because of fear or dependency, among other factors, the violated woman forgives.
5. Apparent peace: the cycle begins again
The climate of love and harmony reigns, little or nothing is left of the violent act. Everything is love, reconciliation, tenderness, hope. This will expire when the tension returns to take over the violent and choose once again to unleash all its strength and its problems on that woman, again a victim of gender violence.
It will be a while, the apologies, the "love" will return, until the cycle begins again.
What happens to the children of victims of gender violence?
The exposure of children, as witnesses of violence towards women, has serious consequences for children, emotionally, behaviorally, evolutionarily, cognitively, linking. Here we mention some of them.
- Stress, anguish, sadness , anxiety disorders, excess responsibilities.
- Deficit in impulse control, irritability, aggressive discharges, opposition.
- Fear, impotence, guilt for not knowing how to help the mother or for not being able to defend her.
- Depression, low self-esteem, frustration, insecurity, emotional instability.
- Difficulties in learning, school failure, problems in attention and concentration.
- Difficulties to bond with others , to solve social problems, lack of social skills, distrust, lack of empathy.
- Alterations of the feeding (anorexia, bulimia, lack of appetite).
- Alterations of the dream .
- Psychosomatic symptoms such as enuresis and secondary encopresis, asthma, allergies.
Finally, perceived violence can be internalized and in many cases expressed in the form of antisocial behavior, school misbehavior, delinquency, or substance use. In summary, gender violence does not only affect women. It extends to children, who suffer short and long-term consequences.