What is Gender Based Violence?

Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) is any act of violence against a person and is based on their gender.

Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) can be any one of the following examples but is anything that a person experiences as violent and is done to them because of their gender.


The first method is to exert control:

  • physical abuse;
  • sexual abuse;
  • emotional, verbal or psychological abuse ;
  • economic abuse;
  • intimidation ;
  • all forms of harassment;
  • stalking;
  • damage to property;
  • coming into a person’s home or temporary shelter, place of study or work without consent, where the abuser does not share the same home, temporary shelter, place of study or work;
  • spiritual abuse;

The second method is through exploitation:


  • The abuser may destroy or damage any property or belongings of the victim
  • Building up debt that then falls under the victim’s name, by not paying bill’s on time, or even using credit cards without knowledge and permission.

Lastly, the abuser can use tactics like sabotage, which is mainly aimed at a person’s employment:


  • Abusers somehow manipulate their victims, preventing them from going to work
  • An abuser might even show up at work and cause a scene
  • Or just plain threaten their victim, force them to leave their place of work. (source: Safe House Stellenbosch)
    This type of abuse is not only for couples, but it can also extend to other relatives like parents. Economic abuse of an older parent, where their parent then has minimal access to their finances, under the guise of helping. Wherever there is a situation where somebody is denying you access to your financial information, it is time to seek help.

Note about Financial Abuse

Financial abuse is not limited to couples in a marriage or relationship. It extends into other relationships like child and eldery parent or grandparent. The abuser might simply start by helping manage finances but slowly starts to control accounts by limiting access to funds and pocketing the money themselves and convinces the eldery to sign legal but detrimental financial documents. Alarm bells should be sounding and professional help should be called in.

If you are experiencing abuse and would like to explore the option of leaving your abuser you can read more about an action plan by clicking on the button below.