Women's Center

What Is Gender Violence?

Gender violence includes rape, sexual assault, intimate partner violence in heterosexual and same sex partnerships, sexual harassment, stalking, prostitution and sex trafficking. The term "gender violence" reflects the idea that violence often serves to maintain structural gender inequalities, and includes all types of violence against men, women, children, adolescents, gay, transgender people and gender non conforming. This type of violence in some way influences or is influenced by gender relations. To adequately address this violence, we have to address cultural issues that encourage violence as part of masculinity.

Gender is also the most powerful predictor of rape, sexual assault and relationship violence. These crimes are predominantly against men, women and children are perpetrated by men. 1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime (14.8% completed, 2.8% attempted) About 3% of American men-- or 1 in 33-- have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime. While men are rape victims, men are almost always the perpetrator. That is not to say that all or even most men are violent, or that women cannot perpetrate such violence. Gender violence highlights a toxic masculinity patterned violence: a prevalent violence motivated by aggression, revenge, competition, and entitlement, and includes sexual and other violence against men, women, partners and children.