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What is Gender-based Violence? Help Fight Gender-Based Violence with a JD from GGU School of Law

Gender-based Violence

Society has origins in oppression and the patriarchy, and gender-based oppression has been rampant. This goes beyond gender inequality in the workplace, medical system, and other aspects of daily life. This extends to violence. 

According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, gender-based violence (GBV) refers to harmful acts directed at an individual based on their gender. It is rooted in gender inequality, the abuse of power, and harmful social norms.

What can the law do to protect individuals from this kind of abuse? What can you, just one person, do to advocate and hold space for impact? Getting your Juris Doctor and working to address gender-based violence is an excellent start.

Golden Gate University works to prepare our graduates to encounter and resolve today’s most pressing public interest issues, including gender-based violence. Our program is for those who want to make the world a better, more equitable place.

Violence Against Women and Men

Gender-based violence, while it often involves violence against women and girls (1 in 3 women globally experience violence in their lifetime), manifests in a variety of ways.

Domestic Violence

According to the CDC, about 41% of women and 26% of men experienced contact sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner, and reported an intimate partner violence-related impact during their lifetime. To experience gender-based violence is in itself traumatic. Its impact is long-term and far from isolated. It affects you and those around you. Injury, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, concern for safety, fear, needing help from law enforcement, and missing at least one day of work are common impacts reported for those in a domestic violence situation.

Global Exploitation and Abuse

Around the world, horrific acts of female genital mutilation for non-medical reasons still occur. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 200 million affected women and girls alive today have undergone FGM in 30 countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia where it is still practiced.

Child marriage is also an exploitive practice that still occurs throughout the world. This refers to any union forced between a child under 18 and an adult. Though its prevalence has decreased in the past decade, more than 100 million girls are still expected to become child brides in the next ten years. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals call for global action to end this human rights violation by 2030.

Gender Identity

For transgender and gender non-conforming individuals, gender identity can be dangerous. In 2021, the Human Rights Campaign tracked a record number of violence, including fatal, incidents, against the two communities. In the United States, anti-trans legislation has been sweeping across conservative states.

Preventing Gender-Based Violence

In your day to day, there are plenty of actions that can help prevent this kind of violence, such as:

  1. Interrupt abuse
  2. Interrupt discriminator language
  3. Educate yourself on the root causes of this violence
  4. Cease victim-blaming
  5. Cease the perpetuation of rape culture, oppression, and the patriarchy

As a lawyer, you can work both internationally and domestically, using your legal education to enact change. There is a plethora of policy work, litigation, and other types of advocacy work to be done.


Golden Gate University both educates students and fans their passion for justice. Our graduates learn to make a difference, whether working on international human rights or combating domestic gender-based violence. 

Social justice isn’t only what we teach, it’s who we are. Our mission is to impart graduates with the skill, judgment, and moral compass to become exceptional lawyers and socially responsible members of the global community. Our nationally recognized professors and alumni are judges, civil rights practitioners, and executive directors of nonprofit organizations around the state of California and the country. 

The best part is, learning to change the world can happen in a flexible manner. Our JD Flex program blends online and on-campus coursework, letting you earn an ABA-accredited law degree in less than four years, even while working full-time. Plus, we offer automatic consideration for full- and part-tuition scholarships that might even make your degree tuition-free. 

Ready to get started? Contact our admissions office today.

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