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These definitions are conceptualized in an understanding of society as patriarchal, signifying unequal relations between men and women.

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In addition, the term gender-based violence refers to "any acts or threats of acts intended to hurt or make women suffer physically, sexually or psychologically, and which affect women because they are women or affect women disproportionately".

Moreover, the definition stated by the 1993 Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women also supported the notion that violence is rooted in the inequality between men and women when the term violence is used together with the term 'gender-based.' In Recommendation Rec(2002)5 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on the protection of women against violence, the Council of Europe stipulated that VAW "includes, but is not limited to, the following":a.

The history of violence against women remains vague in scientific literature.

This is in part because many kinds of violence against women (specifically rape, sexual assault, and domestic violence) are under-reported, often due to societal norms, taboos, stigma, and the sensitive nature of the subject.

Other critics argue that employing the term gender in this particular way may introduce notions of inferiority and subordination for femininity and superiority for masculinity.

There is no widely accepted current definition that covers all the dimensions of gender based violence rather than the one for women that tends to reproduce the concept of binary oppositions: masculinity versus femininity.The UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women (1993) states, "violence against women is a manifestation of historically unequal power relations between men and women, which have led to domination over and discrimination against women by men and to the prevention of the full advancement of women, and that violence against women is one of the crucial social mechanisms by which women are forced into a subordinate position compared with men." Several forms of violence are more prevalent in certain parts of the world, often in developing countries.For example, dowry violence and bride burning is associated with India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal.this type of violence targets a specific group with the victim's gender as a primary motive.This type of violence is gender-based, meaning that the acts of violence are committed against women expressly because they are women.For instance, in Italy, before 1981, the Criminal Code provided for mitigating circumstances in case of a killing of a woman or her sexual partner for reasons related to honor, providing for a reduced sentence.