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Violence against women is about power and control.

  • Violence against women is a chosen action against a woman or girl child simply because of her gender, simply because she is female.
  • Violence against women cuts across race, religion, income, class and culture.
  • Violence Against Women is deeply embedded in all cultures, so much so that millions of women consider it a way of life.
Violence against a woman is a crime, and a violation of her human rights.

Men must be held responsible for their violence

Of course not all men are abusive, but overwhelmingly, men are the abusers and women are the victims. Men make the choice how they let out their aggressions and upon who:

  • most often, men who beat their wives do not hit their bosses, colleagues or male friends. Men batter because they feel they have the right to or think that their feelings are superior to a woman's;
  • rape is not an "over-spill" of sexual energy. It is not an impulsive crime. A high percentage of rapists are "friends" and relatives. Rape is not prompted by provocative dress. Many teenagers in uniform have been raped.
No woman deserves violence, ever!


Violence against Women is not restricted to physical abuse.

Psychological and emotional abuse
Threats, insults and put-downs can be just as damaging as physical abuse because they endanger a woman's feelingsof self-worth and her ability to control her own life.

Social abuse
This form of abuse occurs most frequently in a domestic situation where a woman is kept totally dependent on her partner and isolated from the support of others.

Financial abuse
A woman who is prevented from seeking employment, or who is not allowed to have a bank account or keep any of her income suffers financial abuse. Having no control of money keeps a woman totally dependent and at the whim of others, even for her basic needs.

Sexual abuse
Being forced to do or watch something sexual without the woman's consent, or to have pain inflicted on a woman during a sexual act can constitute sexual abuse.

Physical abuse
Hitting, punching, slapping, biting, kicking, bruising, breaking bones, throwing things and using weapons are obvious examples of physical abuse. The denial of human needs, such as food, water, sleep and even shelter are also forms of physical abuse.

Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is an abuse of power. It is when one partner usually a boyfriend or husband attempts to control and dominate the other, usually a girlfriend or wife through violence, threat of violence, or by controlling the couple's finances and social life.

The Cycle of Violence Theory
The build up tension rises.
Stand over phase the man becomes threatening.
The explosion the violence occurs.
The remorse phase the man is apologetic and promises never to do it again.
The pursuit the man attempts to win the woman back by promising to change.
The honeymoon things are calm and perhaps even loving.
The build up tension begins to rise again.

Why do Women Stay?
"Have you ever been so frightened that you couldn't move? That's what it's like to be trapped in an abusive relationship."

Numbed by your fears of escalating violence and economic survival, and unable to fix the problem, how do you leave?

Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment in the workplace refers to sexual conduct that is unwanted, unwelcome, or unsolicited.

Rape and Sexual Assault
Rape and sexual assault use sex as the weapon. Legally, rape is limited to the insertion of the penis into your vagina against your will. If you are under 16 years of age sex with or without your consent is statutory rape. Sexual assault includes forced anal sex, insertion of objects into your vagina, mouth or anus.

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Women's Aid Organisation
Pertubuhan Pertolongan Wanita
P.O. Box 493 Jalan Sultan
46760 Petaling Jaya
Selangor Darul Ehsan
Tel. +60 3 756 3488
Fax. +60 3 756 3237

WAO is a registered society with tax exemption status under Registrar of Societies. WAO is a member of the Joint Action Group against Violence Against Women and an affiliate member of the National Council of Women's Organisations and the Malaysian Aids Council.

Legal disclaimer
 copyright 2000. WAO.