Gender-based violence is abuse perpetrated on an individual based on their gender. The vast majority of victims of gender-based violence are women and girls. Violence against women is rooted in gender inequality and the belief in the subordination of women. This violence comes in many different forms, some of which include, domestic violence and sexual violence.
Domestic violence occurs when violence against a partner, former partner, family member or household member has taken place. The abuse can be physical, verbal, emotional/psychological, sexual, financial, or spiritual. In the United States 85% of victims of domestic violence are women and 1 in 4 women will be abused by an intimate partner. Domestic violence occurs at relatively the same rates in Muslims and in non-Muslims.
Sexual violence encompasses all sexual acts where consent was not given or obtained, such as harassment, sexual assault, or sexual abuse. 93% of those who commit sexual violence are known to their victims. They may be a friend, neighbor, acquaintance, classmate, teacher, coach, faith leader, relative, or partner. Victims from faith-based communities face additional challenges due to the cultural stigma associated with reporting the violence to the police, as well as the victim shaming they may receive from family, friends, and the community.