The GAP project

Gender-based violence

Violence against women is a form of GBV that includes any act of “violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life”.

 

GBV in the Peruvian Amazon

  • In the Peruvian Amazon, the high rates of GBV reflect historical events of colonization and political marginalization, intersecting with identities of ethnicity, class and geography, which drive violent behaviours.

  • Rural Peru has some of the world’s highest reported rates of GBV: the WHO Multi-Country on Women’s Health and Violence Against Women identified a lifetime prevalence of 61%

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Reflections on GBV

 

To understand the history, impact and prevalence of violence in the region, we undertook a scoping review of the history of violence in the region, eight focus group discussions led by community health workers (CHWs) on the life cycle of violence, and are planning qualitative interviews about women's experiences of violence.

  • Recent figures released by the organisation Promsex showed that 79% of women between the ages of 18 and 29 in the Amazonian port town of Mazan reported experiencing sexual violence at some point in their life.

  • In the context of poverty and geographic remoteness, transactional and commercial sex work leaves many women vulnerable to violence and has been shown to increase risks of HIV transmission.

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While GBV does affect men, women are more frequently the target of severe and ongoing abuse, stemming from unequal gender relations that position women as inferior to men

The WHO estimated that women who experience violence are twice as likely to experience depression, 16% more likely to have a low weight baby, and 1.5 times more likely to acquire HIV

The impacts  may be exacerbated in rural or low-resource settings, where geographic isolation often coincides with significant poverty, lack of support networks, absence of resources to address GBV, gender inequalities and a widespread acceptance of violence as a normal part of intimate relationships