Gender: Resources

Gender-based violence, including forced marriage, is defined by the United Nations as “violence that is directed against a woman because she is a woman or that affects women disproportionately”. View our useful resources to find out more.

Gender-based violence

This is defined by the United Nations as “violence that is directed against a woman because she is a woman or that affects women disproportionately. It includes acts that inflict physical, mental or sexual harm or suffering, threats of such acts, coercion and other deprivations of liberty.”

Domestic abuse

The National Strategy to Address Domestic Abuse in Scotland (2000) states:

“Domestic abuse (as gender-based abuse), can be perpetrated by partners or ex-partners and can include physical abuse (assault and physical attack involving a range of behaviour), sexual abuse (acts which degrade and humiliate women and are perpetrated against their will, including rape) and mental and emotional abuse (such as threats, verbal abuse, racial abuse, withholding money and other types of controlling behaviour such as isolation from family or friends).”

The strategy recognises that: “Domestic abuse is most commonly perpetrated by men against women and takes a number of specific and identifiable forms. The existence of violence against men is not denied, nor is the existence of violence in same sex relationships, nor other forms of abuse, but domestic abuse requires a response which takes account of the gender specific elements and the broader gender inequalities which women face.”

It also states: “It must also be recognised and taken into account that, particularly among black and minority ethnic communities, other family members connected to a woman through marriage may be involved in, or may participate in the abuse of the woman. In certain cases, abuse is perpetrated by other family members, even without the knowledge of the partner. In addition, there is abuse of women by members of their own families in the context of forced, as opposed to arranged, marriages or as a result of their failed marriages or divorce.”

Violence against women

The Scottish Government defines forced marriage as a form of violence against women. The full definition of violence against women can be found in Equally Safe: Scotland’s strategy for preventing and eradicating violence against women and girls.