Europe: Proposal of new indicators to measure the effects of gender violence

GVEI starts from the hypothesis that the existing systems of indicators of GV at the European level do not pay attention to the specific and multidimensional effects that violence against women has on women’s life.
The rationality behind the GVEI system of indicators has been: to overcome the lack of data and information about the multidimensional impact of GV on women’s life, by visualising and measuring the effects of GV episodes in multiple spheres of women’s life that usually remain invisible but that demonstrate the holistic effect that suffering GV produces to women; to provide new data on both the consequences of GV on women, and the needs they may have when being in a situation of GV, thus providing a basis for the design of comprehensive policy responses to support, help and empower women suffering GV; to improve social policies to combat GV.
Definition of concepts

The FourthWorldWomen’s Conference, celebrated in Beijing in 1995, has described violence against women (VAW) as a social subject that consists in “any act of violence based on gender, which may result or actually results in physical, sexual or psychological harm, including threats, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, in either private or public life”.

Thus, VAW can be considered as gender based violence, understanding gender as the set of roles, rights, representations, expectations and values assigned to each sex; this socio-cultural construction of what is feminine and masculine places men and women in different positions in society, establishing power relationships among them and locating women in an inferior and less valued situation. In this way, gender “refers to the social organisation of the relationship between the sexes and to the fundamentally social quality of the distinction”.

In the GVEI project, the concept of GV refers to gender-based violence perpetrated against women, which is constituted by:

“any kind of violence addressed against women as a representation of discrimination and inequality, framed in an ancient and structural system of power of relationships between men and women, that is expressed in any sphere of life (private or public) throughout economic, physical or psychological harms, including threats, intimidations or coactions, which may result or actually result in physical, sexual or psychological injury or suffering.

As GV is a very broad concept, GVEI has focused on two main types of GV:

—GV in the intimate partner context: understood as physical, psychological, sexual and/or economic abuse of a woman by her male partner or ex-partner(s) or by another person who has or has had a similar relationship with her.

—Workplace context: it includes physical, psychological, economic or sexual violence that usually, but not solely, adopts the form of the so called “sexual harassment” or “sexual based harassment”.

You can download the book here: