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What is gender based violence?

Bob Ward
Bob Ward
In Greater Manchester we are working to tackle gender-based violence. But what do we mean by that? And how can we help to reduce it happening?
Decorative picture of people sat at a table
Decorative picture of people sat at a table

What is gender-based violence?

Gender-based-violence is when someone is treated unfairly or hurt because of their gender. It’s when people are mean, hurtful, or harmful to others and this can take many forms, like physical harm, words that hurt, controlling behaviours, or even threats.

It happens partially because of inequalities that exist in our society and that disadvantage women and girls.
When we use this term, we also include the harassment and violence directed at trans, gender-queer and non-binary people who are attacked for not conforming to gender norms. We see these as forms of gender-based violence.

In Greater Manchester, our services, partners and organisations all use this definition – including those covering police, transport, and healthcare. We recognise the many forms it can take and the ways that other inequalities, such as a person’s background or ethnicity, can make gender-based violence worse.

Facts and figures

Don’t just take our word for it. The numbers speak for themselves:

    • More than 7 in 10 women in the UK have experienced sexual harassment in public.
    • This rises to over 4 in 5 amongst 18-24 year olds.
    • Over 9 in 10 of all women did not report their experiences of sexual harassment.*

*Taken from a survey as part of a report by the APPG for UN Women, March 2021.

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester
“These behaviours, mostly faced by women from men, leave those on the receiving end feeling vulnerable, frightened and unsafe. Women and girls have had to put up with this for far too long and I want to make it clear that it does not have a place here or anywhere else.”

How can we reduce gender-based violence?

We all have a part to play in tackling gender-based violence and helping to make Greater Manchester a better place for everyone.

In 2021, the Mayor of Greater Manchester launched the #IsThisOK? campaign and it’s been running ever since. It shows some of the types of gender-based violence that women and girls face when going about their day. It calls on men and boys to understand this, recognise what behaviours aren’t okay, and to stop it from happening – either by not doing it in the first place, or by calling out people you know if they start acting this way.

The campaign has released lots of films and messages that help with this. It shows men and boys what behaviours are not OK, how they can listen to women and girls about this, and how they can talk to each other about how to make life safer for everyone. Together, we can change the story in Greater Manchester.

Find out more about the #IsThisOK? campaign on its website: isthisokgm.co.uk

Follow @IsThisOKGM on social media:

If you or someone you know is affected by gender-based violence, there is help and support available. Some services that can offer help are on our website: isthisokgm.co.uk/support-services

If you’re concerned about someone’s behaviour, you can: show you don’t agree with their behaviour; tell a trusted adult who can help; offer support to the person feeling uncomfortable; or distract and change the situation. There is helpful information about the actions you can take on the Enough website: Help stop it | ENOUGH


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