80 great phrases against gender violence - psychology - 2023



Gender-based violence is and has been throughout history an important problem and social scourge, which has taken many lives and ruined many others.

The fight against this reality has only acquired social relevance in recent times, although different voices have been expressing the suffering of those who suffer abuse, the indignation and the need to confront this type of act.

Some of these voices, some known and others anonymous, have delivered powerful messages. Among them we find great phrases against gender violence.

  • Related article: "100 feminist phrases of great thinkers of History"

80 phrases against gender violence

Throughout this article we will see phrases contrary to inequality and gender violence. Some of them are by well-known authors and others of anonymous authorship or part of various advertising campaigns.

Likewise, some start from statements or works that did not directly address this issue, but that nevertheless can be applied or some kind of relationship with gender violence can be found.

1. Enough of minutes of fear, humiliation, pain, silence. We have the right to every minute of freedom, happiness, love, life. (Campaign Not One Less)

These phrases express the will to live and the right of women to be free and happy, to live without fear.

2. We want each other alive. All. Not one less. (Campaign Not One Less)

Many women die every day less than their partners or ex-partners for the mere fact of being one. That is why phrases like this make us see the need to combat gender violence.

3. In the face of atrocities we have to take sides. Silence stimulates the executioner (Elie Wiesel)

Failure to act is not an option in the face of gender violence, since it favors the perpetrator of the aggression to continue inflicting the abuse.

4. Any time of the day or night is good to say enough and end a stage of your life that you would have liked not to live (Raimunda de Peñafort)

The renowned judge and writer Raimunda de Peñafort expressed to us in this sentence the need for the appearance of the moment when the victim decides that it is necessary to change and end her torment.

5. Neither saints nor whores. We are only women (Rotmi Enciso)

Sometimes raised as a phrase in various demonstrations against gender violence and in favor of equality, this phrase expresses the need to consider women as human beings equal to men: an existence worthy of respect and that does not have to be virtuous and virginal or passionate and sexual, or sheltered as if it were something fragile and incapable or used as an object.

6. No man is good enough to rule any woman without her consent (Susan Anthony)

There is no one who has the right to choose and dominate our life beyond ourselves.

7. This irrational desire for dominance, control and power over the other person is the main force that fuels domestic violence between couples (Luis Rojas Marcos)

As this well-known Spanish psychiatrist indicates, what ultimately generates abuse is the desire for power over the other, often using traditional gender roles.

8. Walling up your own suffering is to risk it devouring you from the inside (Frida Kahlo)

Although the phrase in question does not refer to abuse, it does express a very common reality among people who suffer from it: hide and bury the suffering deep down, something that makes it difficult to make the decision to say enough.

9. All violence is the result of people deluding themselves into believing that their pain is caused by other people, thus thinking that they deserve to be punished (Marshall Rosenberg)

This phrase is quite self-explanatory, and leads us to think that one of the motivators (although not the only one) of the aggression is the self-contempt and the feeling of little competition from the abuser.

10. Break the silence. When you witness violence against women, do not sit idly by. Take Action (Ban Ki Moon)

This phrase by the diplomat and former Secretary General of the United Nations expresses the need for witnesses and those who perceive abuse not to just ignore it, but to help the victims and report acts of violence.

11. Women's fear of men's violence is the mirror of men's fear of women without fear (Eduardo Galeano)

Many cases of gender violence stem from the aggressor's need to maintain power and control over the other, using aggression as a method of trying to suppress the victim's own power to live freely.

12. We had two options: be quiet and die or speak and die. We decided to talk (Malala Yousafzai)

This phrase refers to the reality of many women who are subjected and tied to suffering, pain and even death due to the fear that rebelling will cause them even more pain.

13. No no!

Gender-based violence is practiced in multiple ways, one of them being sexual violence: sexual abuse or rape are the best known examples. Perpetrators of this type of violence often ignore the denials of their victim, trivializes them and even hints that the victim really wanted to have sex. That is why it is very important to take into account a message, in principle as simple as it is evident, like the one expressed in this phrase.

14. No woman can call herself free when she does not have control over her own body (Margaret Sanger)

Many women are forced by their partners to have sex despite not wanting it or causing pain and suffering, something that is often hidden or even the person himself does not consider it sexual assault due to the thought that who is doing it is his spouse or couple.

18. I have seen men suffering psychologically unable to ask for help for fear that they are not considered "macho". The idea that men cannot cry bothers me (Emma Watson)

The young actress expresses in this sentence the fact that although in a much smaller proportion, some men also suffer violence from their partners and do not usually report due to fear of social rejection.

19. Man's violence against his partner is invisible except when it is reported; invisible to all except the children who run the risk of perpetuating it, they as abusers, they as submissive victims (Jacobo Durán)

Gender-based violence does not only affect the person who directly receives the abuse. If there are children, they will be secondary victims or sometimes even instruments to perpetrate violence against the spouse. They are also exposed to a parental model that they may replicate in the future. It is also necessary for them to fight to get out of the situation of violence.

20. Defend your life, fight for your independence, seek your happiness and learn to love yourself (Izaskun González)

Phrase addressed to all people who are subjected to gender violence, and that seeks to wake them up and make them seek to get out of their situation.

21. Wherever someone fights for his dignity, for equality, to be free ... look him in the eye (Bruce Springsteen)

Being abused and living in subjection generates great suffering and pain, and breaking up with the partner or resolving that we need to change is often a great difficulty. That is why we must recognize and validate the efforts and courage of those who fight to achieve it.

22. Violence is not just killing the other. There is violence when one uses an aggressive word, when he makes a gesture of contempt for a person, when he obeys because he is afraid (Jiddu Kirshnamurti)

Although the original phrase encompasses other types of violence, this phrase is clearly applicable to gender violence. And this is not just physical violence or death: insults, harassment, coercion and threats they are just some of the other types of violence it includes.

  • You may be interested: "The 11 types of violence (and the different kinds of aggression)"

23. Violence is the last resort of the incompetent (Isaac Asimov)

A phrase also used to condemn gender violence, clearly expresses that violence is the result of the lack of capacity to manage the relationship with the other.

24. Qualifying gender violence as a women's issue is part of the problem. Gives huge numbers of men the perfect excuse not to pay attention (Jackson Katz)

Despite the fact that every day there is more awareness at the social level, the truth is that on many occasions it has been observed that there is a tendency to consider the fight against gender violence as something typical of the female gender. However, ending this scourge is everyone's business.

25. Today as yesterday, women must refuse to be submissive and credulous, since dissimulation cannot serve the truth (Germaine Greer)

The absolute submission that tradition imposed on women with respect to men has often been used as an excuse for the exercise of violence, such submission being something that must change in order to guarantee freedom and avoid and prevent abusive relationships.

26. Every 15 seconds a woman is attacked in the world, every 15 seconds a man ceases to be (Jorge Moreno Pieiga)

Gender-based violence is a problem that unfortunately continues to occur every day, and that we must strive to combat.

27. There is no barrier, lock or bolt that you can impose on the freedom of my mind (Virginia Woolf)

The famous writer leaves us a phrase in which she expresses that our mind is and must be free, and that we have to fight to bring down the impositions that they want to pour on it. It pushes us to be strong and to fight violence in order to regain freedom.

28. Being free is not just getting rid of one's chains, but living in a way that improves and respects the freedom of others (Nelson Mandela)

This phrase pushes us to seek to improve the situation of those around us, which includes helping to combat violence against them.

29. Hitting a woman is not cultural, it is a crime, and should be directed and treated as such (Hillary Clinton)

Sometimes some aggressors and even some victims justify violence considering that it is something "normal", considering that their acts are not negative as they have been allowed in the past. But the fact that in ancient times abuse was not so persecuted does not imply anything: abuse will never stop being so, and must be treated and combated as such.

30. Mentor and teach young men how to be men in ways that do not degrade or abuse girls and women (Jackson Katz)

Jackson Katz is a well-known writer, filmmaker, and educator who has created various GBV prevention programs. One of the points that this author highlights is that one of the pillars to prevent possible situations of violence is an education free of gender stereotypes that make women subordinate to men or as a sexual object.

31. When they tried to shut me up, I screamed (Teresa Wilms)

It is important to bear in mind that sometimes people who suffer some type of gender violence are not listened to, are vilified and even held responsible for what happened. But that someone does not listen to us does not mean that we do not have to continue fighting to live free.

32. I don't want to feel brave when I go out. I want to feel free

Many people, especially women, express that the simple act of going out on the street alone generates a certain fear and insecurity in the face of the high prevalence of sexist attitudes and even sexual harassment (and in some cases abuse and assault). This generates great anguish and tension. Nobody wants to live in fear.

33. It is very common for women to think that enduring abuse and cruelty and then forgiving and forgetting is a sign of commitment and love. But when we love well we know that the only healthy and loving response to abuse is to get away from those who hurt us (Bell Hooks)

Many victims decide to give the abuser another chance, with a somewhat distorted idea that the forgiveness of such acts or the repentance that many abusers show after the act of abuse is a sign of their love. But allowing and forgiving such acts over and over again only leads to repeating a pattern continuously, without anything changing, perpetuating violence against them.

34. I will not be a free woman while there are still women subjected (Audre Lorde)

This phrase pushes us to fight against gender violence even if we ourselves are not experiencing it, helping to eliminate this scourge from our society.

35. Don't whistle at me, I'm not a dog

When we talk about gender violence, we are not just talking about beatings, rapes or insults. Also vexatious and objectifying attitudes can be considered as such. We must always respect the dignity of others.

36. Men fear that women laugh at them. Women fear that men will murder them (Margaret Atwood)

A brutal phrase that basically reflects the situation of many victims of gender violence: while the abusive party fears losing power and being humiliated, the victim fears death, loneliness or worthlessness itself.

37. You are not alone

Victims of gender violence often feel a great sense of inner emptiness and great loneliness, partly because of the distance from the rest of the environment to which the aggressor usually subjects them and partly because they do not dare to accept and tell anyone your situation. However, as shown in the different marches and demonstrations, the abused person is not alone but has the support of thousands of people, some of whom have been through the same situation.

38. And it all started the day he made me believe that his jealousy was love… (Laura Iglesia San Martín)

Aggressors and aggressors often resort to violence when they believe that they can lose power over the victim or to guarantee their dominance. And they can also often try to justify their attitudes and jealousy as a show of love, even though it is not such but mere possessiveness and insecurity.

39. Personal, private, lonely pain is more terrifying than anyone can inflict (Jim Morrison)

The suffering of the person who suffers from gender violence is usually experienced alone, often without the victim expressing it with others and even without expressing it externally when alone. Sometimes he even tries to deny the situation in order to avoid experiencing it. But all this accentuates and lengthens his pain and suffering.

40. Without equality there is no love

In love and relationships, an essential part is the perception by both parties of an equality in the rights and capacities of each one, both being equivalent although different and there are no relations of superiority and inferiority.

41. The two sexes are not inferior or superior to each other. They are simply different (Gregorio Marañón)

This phrase tells us that although there are differences between the two sexes, this does not in any case imply that one is superior to the other.

42. I am not accepting the things that I cannot change, I am changing the things that I cannot accept (Angela Davis)

Phrase that pushes us to break down barriers and stereotypes in order to change things and prevent cases of gender violence from happening, without giving up or considering that such violence is impossible to modify.

43. Woman, watch out for verbal abuse, don't allow them to “throw in your face” words like; useless, self-conscious, garbage, ignorant, ridiculous, etc ... these attributes hide a clear violence that will not take long to manifest (Antón García Abril)

This phrase tells us how often the first step in the emergence of gender-based violence is the making of disparaging comments that put the victim in a position of inferiority with respect to their attacker.

44. There is no reason in a cry. The best man never wins. Speak, you are not an animal (José de Eusebio)

The composer and musician José de Eusebio makes us see in this sentence the need to respect the dignity of the other, in clear allusion to the verbal and psychological abuse to which many people are subjected regardless of whether or not there is physical aggression involved.

45. Love never hits (Laura Iglesia San Martín)

A simple phrase but with a great message: violence will never be a token of love.

46. ​​Calling women the weaker sex is slander: it is the injustice of man towards woman (Mahatma Gandhi)

The consideration of women as an inferior human being and subordinate to men is one of the cultural elements that have facilitated the emergence of attitudes that can lead to gender violence.

47. The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans, in the same way that blacks were not made for whites, or women for men (Alice Walker)

Men and women are independent human beings, who do not necessarily need the presence of the other to survive and whose life is not subject to the will of the other.

48. Sometimes you have to forget what you feel and remember what you deserve (Frida Kahlo)

Feelings towards the perpetrator often make it difficult for the victim of GBV to seek help or decide to continually forgive him. However, these feelings collide with reality: the person they love is making them suffer. It is necessary for all of us to remember what we deserve as human beings: to be free and to seek our own happiness.

49. With the blindfold I tied a bow in my hair. Now I am more beautiful and less blind (Sara Buho)

This phrase expresses the need to remove the blindfold and accept the fact that what the person who hurts us is doing is mistreating us. That moment when the victim realizes it is the one that allows them to seek help and fight for a better life free of violence.

50. Each woman injured, attacked, murdered, is the mute and defenseless testimony of the worst that the human being contains: of the triumph of brute force, blind, savage, sick, over any feeling, over any thought, over everything that makes us worthy. Let's shout enough (David del Puerto)

These phrases reflect that gender violence is, deep down, a failure of humanity when it comes to developing a society in which we all have the same rights and can be respected, as well as managing our own brutality.

51. One never enters a heart through violence (Jean Baptiste Molière)

Again, a sign that those who exert violence against us do not love us. It is necessary to understand this fact in order to be able to combat it.

52. If he mistreats you and you do nothing, you are letting him do it (Montserrat Delgado)

This phrase is not holding the person attacked responsible for their situation, but it does reflect that it is up to the victim himself to find a solution.

53. I encourage men and boys everywhere to join us. Gender-based violence will not be eradicated until all of us refuse to tolerate it. (Ban Ki-Moon)

Once again, the former secretary of the United Nations calls not only on women but also on men in order to eliminate gender violence from our societies.

54. Never offer your heart to someone who eats hearts, someone who believes that the meat of the heart is delicious and not rare, someone who sucks liquids drop by drop and who, with a bloody chin, smiles at you (Alice Walker)

This unpleasant and brutal phrase continues to express the need not to surrender to a relationship in which the pain and suffering itself and the fact of keeping the person controlled and dominated is for the other reason of pleasure and satisfaction.

55. Racial, gender, sexual and other forms of discrimination and violence cannot be eliminated without changing the culture (Charlotte Bunch)

In order for gender violence to disappear and to be prevented, it is necessary to act not only in the cases where it occurs but also socially and in the community: the population must be educated in equality and mutual respect.

56. Equality is a vital need of the human soul. The same amount of respect and attention is due to every human being, because respect has no degrees (Simone Weil)

We are all equally worthy and admirable regardless of our gender, sex, skin color, sexual orientation, race, or beliefs.

57. One in three women may experience abuse or violence in her lifetime. This is an abominable violation of Human Rights, but it continues to be one of the most invisible and little known pandemics of our time (Nicole Kidman)

Though there are more and more cases of denunciation and greater awareness, the truth is that gender violence continues to be an issue that those who suffer it (and those who practice it) tend to hide for a long time. It is usually an invisible problem until it becomes extremely evident, and that sometimes it is not even considered as such by the victims.

58. Gender is between the ears and not between the legs (Chaz Bono)

This phrase helps us see that men and women are equally capable of living our lives, gender being something that does not depend on the sexual apparatus we have.

59. My body is mine!

Women have been frequently objectified as sexual objects, and in many cases of gender violence, the perpetrator of this considered that it was within their right to dispose of the victim's body for their own sexual satisfaction regardless of the will of the other. No one has the right to dispose of the body, mind or sexuality of another person without their consent.

60. You can break my hand, but never my voice

A voice that encourages us to fight, to fight to change things and eradicate violence from our lives.

61. Our men believe that making money and giving orders are the basis of power. They do not believe that power is in the hands of a woman who takes care of everyone during the day and gives birth (Malala Yousafzai)

This young activist expresses with her phrase the need to value and not underestimate the importance of women regardless of their social or employment status.

62. On the other side of the emergency telephone number there is not only the end of the mistreatment, there is the life that you have stopped living

As this phrase from an awareness campaign tells us, asking for help is a fundamental step to get out of a situation of abuse and start living again.

63. Don't skip the signs. Choose to live (Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality)

This phrase comes from an awareness campaign broadcast on television in Spain, and expresses the need for the victim or the environment to become aware of the different signals (isolation, humiliation, comparisons, telephone control, financial control, use of children and the environment to hurt, insults, beatings ...) that a case of gender violence is taking place.

64. Women constitute the only exploited group in history that has been idealized to impotence (Erica Jong)

In this case we are talking about a type of gender violence that does not include the partner but the society: the tendency to think of women as a weak, fragile and incapable creature that causes them to be prejudged, used and undervalued.

65. You think that if he does not love you then you are worth nothing. You think that if he no longer loves you he is right, you think that his opinion of you must be correct. You think that if he rejects you it is because you are trash. You think that he belongs to you because you feel that you belong to him. No. “Belonging” is a bad word, especially when you use it with someone you love. Love shouldn't be like this (Toni Morrison)

Again in this sentence we see how the victims of gender violence they tend to have a very low opinion of themselves, an opinion that the aggressor himself usually generates and reinforces to keep it subdued and under his control.

This makes them think that they need the aggressor and that they are due to her, that in fact they are lucky that that person is with them (a belief that is often also made explicit by the aggressor himself) or otherwise they will be left alone and cannot be happy. These thoughts must be combated.

66. Gender-based violence arises from the darkest part of the human being and it must not be hidden, suffered, or covered up. You have to shout with courage and energy Enough already !!! (Zulema de la Cruz)

This pianist and composer shows us with her phrase the need to externalize, confront and combat gender violence.

67. If you are detained, insulted, attacked, hit or threatened, make no mistake. That's not love.

Acts like those mentioned above will never be a gesture of love, no matter how much they try to disguise it as such.

68. My silence did not protect me. Your silence will not protect you (Audre Lorde)

This phrase aims to push the person who suffers from gender violence to denounce their situation, to fight to change it. Shutting it up won't make the problem go away, it will only lengthen it.

69. Against gender violence, zero tolerance

A slogan typical of an advertising campaign to raise public awareness, expresses the need to take into account the seriousness of the situation from the outset and not tolerate any type of violent situation or action.

70. Why shut up if I was born screaming? (Faculty of Education of the University Campus of Soria)

This phrase expresses the need to make our voice heard against gender violence, to express the suffering and pain of those who suffer from it and to express our rejection of this type of aggression.

71. No one asked me how my assailant dressed

Often many victims of sexual abuse and assault are questioned and blamed of the situation to the point of questioning even how they were dressed at that moment, in such a way that it seems to imply that the aggression is their fault or responsibility. This generates great damage to the victim, who may not report or even believe he is really responsible for what happened.

72. In any relationship you have, you do not deserve who does not love you and even less who hurts you (Walter Riso)

As in previous sentences, this author makes reference that whoever hurts us does not deserve us, something that without a doubt should lead us to distance ourselves from the aggressor.

73. Neither blows that hurt nor words that hurt

This phrase exemplifies two of the most common: the use of aggression and vexation as a method of subjugating the victim of gender violence.

74. We are the cry of those who no longer have a voice

The demonstrations and marches that are organized make it possible to reflect on a social level a reality that most people do not take much into account on a daily basis and that nevertheless takes the lives of thousands of people every year.

75. Violence is not a force. It is the abuse of force (Michel Lancelot)

Phrase that includes all types of violence, indicates that violence is always an abuse made by the aggressor of a power or type of relationship that maintains over the other.

76. Fears are black and darken the horizons, hence it is necessary to be guided by experts (Raimunda de Peñafort)

One of the biggest reasons why many victims of gender violence do not report it is fear. Fear of retaliation, the future without the abuser, the judicial process that may follow, a possible loneliness or the reaction of the environment, among others. This fear can paralyze the victim, which is why it can be very helpful to ask for help from different types of professionals (police, social services, legal and criminal services, doctors, psychologists, social workers ...)

77. The world is bigger than a clenched fist

A fairly clear phrase that expresses the need for the person attacked to cease the relationship with his aggressor and to escape violence, having a whole world to discover beyond the abuse.

78. Do not deal with abuse

Abuse and gender violence must be eradicated, without tolerating them at any time or making concessions. It is usual that after a specific violent act the aggressor promises to change and that he will not do it again, but in most cases this becomes a spiral of mistreatment, promises and relapses into the mistreatment that has no end unless it is intervene or the victim decides to change the situation.

79. Don't give up, please don't give in. Although the cold burns, although fear bites, although the sun hides and the wind is silent, there is still fire in your soul, there is still life in your dreams (Mario Benedetti)

Although this poem is not written with gender violence in mind, it is applicable to this topic: many victims end up giving up and seeing change as impossible. That is why it is essential to remember that you do not have to give up and that there is always hope and a life after leaving the violence.

80. Your fight is my fight

To conclude, we leave you with this little phrase in which the attacked person is simply reminded that they are not alone, and that their struggle and suffering is everyone's.