Gender violence. Violence against women. Feminicide
Through human and social sciences and statistics, we can understand differences, shared characteristics and the evolution of such criminal phenomena. Let's see in what they are different.
Feminicide is the murder of a woman «for being a woman». But the cases of violence with female victims are much wider: violence with specific sexual connotation, psychological and moral vexations, abuses at the work-place, various manifestations of economic violence.
Gender violence does not mean violence against women only, but against all genders. Sociology explains that gender violence is «that kind of social relationship between a man and a woman in which one of the two actors – either the man or the woman – […] is persecuted» until the «annihilation of the subject who takes on the status of a victim». The LGBTQ perspective goes beyond the male/female schematism because it reconsiders gender violence within the intersections of violence, gender, sexuality and sexual orientation.
Violence against women is not always gender violence because not always «the female gender of the victim is the essential reason and motive of the crime itself». There is no doubt, however, that women are the most vulnerable subjects in relation to gender violence: this is why gender violence and violence against women are often used as synonyms.
In relation to gender violence, there are at least three common characteristics. Gender violence is a transcultural phenomenon, which means it is common to cultures even very different from one another; it is an intergenerational phenomenon, because it often leads the victim, in turn, to be the author of gender violence; it is a structural phenomenon in such it has a mix of gender stereotypes».
If, in the end, we look at the most recent statistics, the actual evolution of the phenomenon of gender violence shows one positive and two negative trends. On the one hand, the less serious forms of violence diminish. Yet, on the other hand, both the most serious forms of gender violence (rapes, attempted rapes, feminicide), and the gravity of violences, even those at the hands of the partner, increase. In other words, even though violence as a whole diminishes, it increases in intensity.
This is the second post out of four on the same issue, the first of them was titled “What is violence against women“. The other two ones are coming in the next weeks.
Gabriele Fattori, FBK Magazine guest blogger since April 2020, teaches Ecclesiastical and Canon Law at the University of Foggia and collaborates with the Center for Religious Sciences (ISR) of Bruno Kessler Foundation. At the University of Foggia, he is also Coordinator of the Master of Science in Security Legal Sciences and Rectoral Delegate to the University Library System.