What is Gender-Based Violence?

Gender-based violence is an act of violence committed against women, men, boys or girls, which often takes the form of abuse within relationships. Although men and boys are also subjected to abuse and violence, women and girls are mostly affected due to power imbalances between them and the low social status that they occupy in the society. This often results in discrimination and denied opportunities in various spheres of life.


Stop Gender Violence Helpline 0800-150-150

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Gender-based violence can take many forms; these include:

Rape and/or sexual abuse
Physical, emotional and economic abuse
Sexual harassment
Child abuse

There are a number of potential adverse impacts of these types of violence:

  • Ill health
  • Psychological, physical and emotional trauma
  • Unwanted pregnancies
  • Suicide
  • Depression
  • Low self-esteem
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Low productivity at home, in the community, at work and at school

The Stop Gender Violence Helpline aims to support those affected by gender-based violence, reduce its occurrence and so prevent these adverse impacts.

In 1999, the National Stop Women Abuse Helpline was initiated by Soul City and the National Network on Violence against Women, in partnership with LifeLine South Africa. In 2004, the Line was formally broadened to incorporate issues of both sexes and was reflected in the change of the Line’s name to the Stop Gender Violence Helpline.

The Line provides anonymous, confidential and accessible telephonic information, counselling and referrals in all 11 official languages to survivors, witnesses and perpetrators of gender-based violence.
The Line operates 24 hours a Day 7 days a Week including Public Holidays

Line is sponsored by Telkom Foundation and Department of Social Development.