How does gender-based violence affect women’s mental health?

COVID-19 has invisibly penetrated the homes of Latin America, bringing more disgrace to women's mental health .

Woman touching her head

In a situation of aggression, the psychological state is not so obvious, therefore it has taken a back seat and has become a taboo for society. Photo: Freepik

LatinAmerican Post | Carlex Araujo

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Leer en español: ¿Cómo afecta la violencia de género a la salud mental de las mujeres?

Gender violence is a permanent crisis that affects all the countries of the world regardless of their cultures. However, in Latin America this is a problem that is especially critical. According to ECLAC's Gender Equality Observatory for Latin America and the Caribbean , a femicide is registered in the region every two and a half hours. But femicides are not the only problem that is considered gender violence ; sexual violence, human trafficking, female genital mutilation and child marriage are other types of violence against women. This, accompanied by other accentuated variables that make this violence and the way in which it is responded to increase or decrease, as the case may be.

In this sense, one of these external factors is the physical, psychological, sexual and social health of women . Obviously, physical, sexual and social aggressions are always notorious, but on the contrary their psychological state is not so obvious, therefore it has gone to the background and has become a taboo for society.

In the same way, in order to attack this difficult and delicate socio-cultural problem head-on, we must know the causes that generate it and fundamentally propose solutions to it. These are some of the factors that produce gender violence :

  • It induces loneliness and isolation.
  • Have personal and financial dependence.
  • Not having public services.
  • Exclusion and social rejection.
  • Provide the minimum of credibility in your story.
  • Decreased self-esteem.
  • Not being prepared to face life.
  • Greater willingness to argue abuses towards her.

Gender violence in the framework of COVID-19

For this reason, intimidation and crime have had a very particular incidence in the context of the pandemic, mainly due to the precarious condition in which women, girls and adolescents find themselves. Currently, the pandemic is showing a forceful presence in all households in Latin America, due to the fact that due to confinement gender violence, poverty, lack of employment, food, education and health problems have been pronounced .

On the other hand, MundoSur designed an excellent monitoring strategy called "Latin American Network Against Gender Violence", in order to denounce and make visible the storm that young women are experiencing. It is even intended for the celebration of International Women's Day, on March 8. In this line, the cases registered in 2019 were 3,018 femicides; In 2020, only 2,338 trials were recognized in 10 countries and, so far in 2021, 110 cases of crimes against women have been settled , figures that are alarming.

On the other hand, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) have been working tirelessly on studies that show that eradicating gender-based violence is feasible and, therefore, improving its mental state, offering unconditional support in virtual training to acquire financial independence, with the purpose of starting a much more independent and healthy life again.

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