Addressing the Intergenerational Transmission of Gender-Based Violence: Focus on Educational Settings
Gender-based violence (GBV) is increasingly recognized as a hindrance to economic and social development, in addition to violating the human rights of those experiencing it. Therefore, preventing the perpetration of GBV has ramifications beyond simply ending violence. Gender-based violence is violence perpetrated based on a person’s gender, and reflective of gender inequalities. Patriarchal social norms exist to varying degrees in almost every part of the world, often placing men and boys in dominant positions over women and girls. Their gendered control can take the form of GBV, whether physical, sexual or psychological. Preventing GBV allows everyone – including survivors – a chance to lead autonomous, fulfilling and productive lives free of fear and intimidation.
This paper focuses on existing knowledge to prevent the transmission of GBV from one generation to the next—the intergenerational transmission of GBV. Research demonstrates a strong link between the violence young people are exposed to at home, either as witnesses or survivors, and their resulting negative behavior later in life, such as dating violence during adolescence or intimate partner violence as adults. This “cycle of violence” has grave consequences, particularly for women and girls, since it is usually gender-based, resulting in severe injuries, unintended pregnancy, HIV, sexually-transmitted infections (STIs), other health risk behaviors and permanent physical and emotional scars, in addition to negatively affecting girls’ education. To ensure a future where children’s lives are not overshadowed with violence where women and girls are safe to make decisions for themselves and continue their education, and men and boys do not adhere to violence and misuse of power associated to stereotypical masculine roles, GBV must end.