Young Women speak out on the impacts of GBV

Gender-Based Violence (GBV) is violence inflicted on a person of the opposite sex on the basis of them being weaker or unable to fight back. Although the male gender is subjected to violence and abuse, women are the ones more affected by GBV. In commemorating the annual 16 days of activism against GBV, there is need to highlight the impact of GBV on women.

By Abelathi Dube

Effects of GBV include mental health problems such as personality disorders, psychosis and depression. Often, victims of GBV have poor access to counselling platforms or medical support which means that the survivors are unable to access the help they need.

Beyond mental trauma, GBV can result in physical injuries such as immediate injuries which include fractures and haemorrhage or long-term physical conditions such as chronic pain, and central nervous system disorders. Survivors of GBV are also at risk of sexual and reproductive health challenges. These include sexual dysfunction, contraction of HIV and AIDS and failure to have children. Substance abuse is also a norm for women and girls who are survivors of GBV, they use psychoactive drugs in excess and these can be in the form of alcohol, pain medication or even illegal drugs.

The first line of prevention is education. We should educate ourselves and others about GBV and it’s effects on our society. Let’s end the silence and stop Gender-Based Violence now.

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