Gender-based violence refers to a violent act in which the affected person or perpetrator’s sex and gender play a role. The term also refers to systemic violence, i.e. societal heteronormative gender hierarchies. Gender-based violence is understood to be any act of violence directed against an individual or group due to their sex, socially assigned gender, and/or socially constructed gender role.
Gender-based violence includes but is not limited to crimes of a sexual nature, such as so-called honor killings and intimate partner violence. Racism, classism, xenophobia and Islamophobia often play a role in gender-based violence’s patterns and forms.
A gender analysis of a particular conflict or crime site enhances the understanding of underlying social inequalities behind the violence. It shines a light on which experiences were reported on, by whom as well as gaps within investigations with respect to for example gender, religion or ethnicity.
German authorities must finally prosecute sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in Syrian detention centers for what it is: a crime against humanity. This is the aim of a criminal complaint that seven survivors of Bashar al-Assad’s torture system submitted in June 2020 to the German Federal Public Prosecutor in Karlsruhe.