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How to Prevent Violence Against Women

July 31, 2014

How-to-Talk-About-Migraine-SymptomsPeople see North America as a place where equal rights are offered to all people, yet violence towards women is still a problem here.

In fact, the study, Domestic Violence Against Women – An International Concern reports that in America, “40-51 [percent] of women experience some type of violence in their lifetime including child abuse, physical violence, rape and domestic violence.” In the United States, the overwhelming majority of these assaults (about four million per year) are carried out by an intimate partner. Similarly, in Canada, the annual prevalence of domestic violence can reach 23 percent and account for up to 10 percent of incidents that are categorized as “severe violence.”

“We shouldn’t think that violence against women is only pervasive in the developing or conflict-ridden pockets of the world. Sexual violence happens in our own homes, and in our institutions,” says Eileen Alma of the International Developmental Research Centre in Canada. “Investigating and understanding gender power structures is an important element that can lead to combatting violence against women. That, and the absolute need for all of us to stop avoiding the reality and start helping each other.”

Preventing Violence against Women

Violence against women is preventable. When the rates of violence decrease, quality of life throughout the world should increase for everyone. To make this reality, violence against women needs to be addressed at every level of society, in sectors of education, business, health, communities and government. There needs to be a widespread agreement that violence towards women is intolerable.

More so, the negative effects of domestic violence and assault are preventable, too. Women who have experienced violence do not have to go through life with heavy senses of shame and depression. Mental health professionals play major roles in ensuring women overcome past abuse and are equipped to prevent future attacks.

The Role of Mental Health Professionals

Hope-for-Treatment-of-Aggressive-MS-Disability-LivingWomen who team up with mental health professionals can regain their sense of identity after traumatic experiences involving violence. At first, working with a psychologist or psychiatrists can be uncomfortable. Women may feel vulnerable as they are asked questions about the abuse they suffered. But these questions are often simple and direct, encouraging the victim to discuss the incidents or regular occurrences. In providing honest answers, victims may have a sense of freedom. Moving forward, the mental health professional can keep her safe by treating any signs or symptoms of mental illness, offering resources that can help prevent future attacks and introducing her to support groups.

Mental health professionals are one piece of the prevention puzzle. Facts about violence against women need to be presented and people throughout the world need to be educated about the reality of this grave matter. With advancements in technology and the growth of wealth in many parts of the world, there should not be too many roadblocks to transmitting this information. When the world receives this information and addresses the issue appropriately, not only will women be liberated, but society at large will be stronger.

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