Gender-based violence

How is gender-based violence defined in the project? 

In this project, the concept ‘gender-based violence’ encompasses many and different forms of online/offline violence, violations and abuse, and gender harassment and sexual harassment.

The following is a more detailed definition.

Gender-based violence is a human rights violation, most often recognised as a cause and consequence of gender inequalities, with potential serious consequences for individuals, organisations, and societies. Violence, always gendered, may however perhaps more usefully be understood as a system of violence – including perpetration, victimhood/survivorhood, responses, policies and practices, rather than isolated, individual and aberrant incidents (Strid et al. 2018; Hearn et al. 2020). It is often an instrumental means for a goal, heterotelic, such as men’s control over women and the maintenance of patriarchal institutions and power, and sometimes an end in itself, autotelic, for its own sake (Schinkel 2010). Gender-based violence involves both detailed brutal activities and daily subtle actions that can lead to a life of control and coercion (Stark 2007); it can mean that further violence is unnecessary to maintain control, thus raising a major problem for empiricism and measuring violence; which also is the case with the increasing levels and forms of online violence, noted as cyberviolence among university students (Lewis & Anitha 2019). In UniSAFE, gender-based violence is conceptualised as an expression of power and structural dominance, rather than as an expression of the loss of power and individual marginalisation. This understanding reverses “truths” in conventional mainstream sociology, criminology or psychology where violence is often studied, as a reaction to the loss of power or as violence from the marginalised, socially disadvantaged or psychologically deviant. Furthermore, gender-based violence is deeply intertwined with other forms of inequalities. It is therefore crucial to examine gender-based violence from an intersectional perspective by simultaneously keeping multiple inequalities and the way they intersect in sight, without losing focus on privilege and power of dominant groups (Walby et al. 2012). An intersectional perspective is crucial to the system of gender-based violence, and to examine how certain determinants affect experiences of gender-based violence. Determinants can be demographic factors, such as age, but can also encompass other socio-demographic factors such as human and social capital, academic status and migration status.

RPO Survey

When will the survey start?

The survey will be conducted for one month among each of the participating organisations’ staff and students, between January and April 2022.

Can the respondents of the survey participate anonymously?

Yes, participation will be anonymous. Firstly, the participating institutions will not share any contact details of individuals, e.g. email addresses, with the survey research group of UniSAFE. Secondly, participants do not need to register or identify themselves to take part in the survey. Finally, participants will use a static, i.e. non-personalized link, to access the online survey.

Where will I find the survey?

The link to the survey will be sent by email by participating organisations to their staff and students.

Can I take part even if I don’t work or study in one of these organisations?

Unfortunately not. In order to provide comparable data, respondents to the survey must belong to the participating universities or research organisations. However, you would like to get involved in UniSAFE’s research activities, we warmly invite you to participate by sharing your experience through an individual interview. Find more about these interviews here: https://unisafe-gbv.eu/share-your-experience/

What happens to the data collected?

The raw survey data collected at [name of the RPO] will be available only to the UniSAFE research partners who will use them solely for scientific purposes, including project outcomes and open access publications. The UniSAFE consortium will disseminate research findings, in particular through meetings, workshops, conference presentations, scientific and media publications as well as the project’s webpage.

Participating institutions will be provided with an anonymised data set, containing only the data collected at their institution. The data will only be shared after ensuring that it prevents any further identification of individuals.

At the end of the UniSAFE project, the data from all RPOs will be made available for secondary research in accordance with the European Union’s Open Access policy. For this purpose, the data will be processed such that neither participants nor participating organisations can be re-identified. Any data potentially usable for re-identification will be either diluted or removed from the data set. The data will then be permanently and securely stored at an open access data repository within the EU, where it will be available for legitimate scientific purposes on request.


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