Some of the forms of violence perpetrated by individuals are: rape, domestic violence, sexual harassment, acid throwing, reproductive coercion, female infanticide, prenatal sex selection, obstetric violence, and mob violence; as well as harmful customary or traditional practices such as honor killings, dowry violence, female genital mutilation, marriage by abduction and forced marriage.
There are forms of violence which may be perpetrated or condoned by the government, such as war rape; sexual violence and sexual slavery during conflict; forced sterilization; forced abortion; violence by the police and authoritative personnel; stoning and flogging.
The Istanbul Convention (Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence) of the Council of Europe describes VAW “as a violation of human rights and a form of discrimination against women“ and defines VAW as "all acts of gender-based violence that result in, or are likely to result in, physical, sexual, psychological or economic harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.
However, the 1993 United Nations General Assembly resolution on the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women was the first international instrument to explicitly define VAW and elaborate on the subject.
Such violence is often seen as a mechanism for the subjugation of women, whether in society in general or in an interpersonal relationship.
Such violence may arise from a sense of entitlement, superiority, misogyny or similar attitudes in the perpetrator, or because of his violent nature, especially against women.
Violence against women can fit into several broad categories.
These include violence carried out by individuals as well as states.
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.