Violence against Women

Violence against women is a term used by the Scottish Government to define a range of actions which harm or cause suffering and indignity to women and children. They include but are not limited to:

  • Physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring in the family, within the general community or in institutions, including: domestic abuse, rape, incest and child sexual abuse;
  • Sexual harrassment and intimidation at work and in the public sphere; commercial sexual exploitation including prostitution, pornography and trafficking;
  • Dowry related violence;
  • Forced and child marriages;
  • Honour crimes

What does gender have to do with it?

These actions are mainly carried out by men against women and children. The different forms of violence have their roots in gender inequality and in the different power relations between men and women in society. They are therefore understood as gender-based violence and are interlinked.

This does not mean that women do not use violence or carry out the actions described above. Nor does it mean that men are not the victims of these actions. It merely recognises that statistically men are commonly the perpetrators and women and children the victims.

More than physical violence

In the context of violence against women, 'violence' has a broader meaning than the normal dictionary definition of violence, which generally requires some form of exertion of physical force. The range of behaviours described above can be physical, but they also include emotional, psycholgical and sexual abuse, and behaviour which is coercive and controlling in nature.


Information/Downloadable Resources


Information on Civil Protection Orders to protect people experiencing domestic abuse can be found at:


Sexual Harassment Poster


Fouzia's Journey (Radio Play)


‘Fouzia’s journey’ has been produced by Amina Muslim Womens Resource Centre (MWRC)  to raise awareness of domestic abuse by bringing this issue into people’s ‘living rooms’ through radio.

It is a three part radio play. The main character of Fouzia is played by Ghazala Hakeem, a survivor of domestic abuse.

Amina MWRC – Would like to hear your views about this so please send them your comments and let others know about this radio play too.  If you would like to use this as a training resource for your organisation, please let them know so they can further support you with this.