Gender based violence in the CALD community

What is gender-based violence?

Gender-based violence is violence directed against a person on the basis of gender, frequently as a form of family and domestic violence. It constitutes a breach of the fundamental right to life, liberty, security, dignity, non-discrimination, and physical and mental integrity.

Gender-based violence reflects and reinforces inequalities between men and women. These gender inequalities are commonly found in traditions and beliefs that assert male authority and may be reflected in the practices of some culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities of WA (e.g., some migrant or refugee communities).

Specific forms of violence that may be relevant within some CALD communities include:
  • Female genital mutilation (FGM)
  • Forced marriage / child forced marriage
  • Honour killings.

Women’s Health Clinical Support Programs offer specialised training on these topics, as well as violence and trauma in the CALD community.

Female genital mutilation (FGM)

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as comprising ‘all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the female genitalia and/or injury to the female genital organs for cultural or any other non-therapeutic reasons’.

The WHO estimates that approximately 130 million women across the globe have undergone the procedure and that 2 million girls are at risk of being circumcised each year.

Forced marriage / child forced marriage

A forced marriage is a marriage that is performed under duress and without the full and informed consent or free will of both parties.

Being under duress includes feeling both physical and emotional pressure. Some victims of forced marriage are tricked into going to another country by their families. Victims fall prey to forced marriage through deception, abduction, coercion, fear, and inducements.

A forced marriage may be between children, a child and an adult, or between adults. Forced marriages are not limited to women and girls, as boys and men are also forced to marry against their will. A forced marriage is considered to be domestic violence.

Honour killings

Honour crimes are acts of violence, usually murder, committed by a male family member against a female family member who is perceived to have ‘dishonoured’ the family. Dishonouring the family can include engaging in premarital intercourse, marrying someone the family does not approve of, being a victim of sexual assault or seeking a divorce.

Honour crimes are a form of gender based violence. Training is offered to inform practitioners about the socio-theoretical ideologies behind the occurrence of such forms of violence and to provide the participants with the tools of recognising a woman/child at risk and intervening.

More information 

For further information, resources and links, visit our family and domestic violence professional toolbox or sign up for our family and domestic violence training.