Chapter 5 of my festive season documentary speaks to a very sensitive issue of GBV, lets be mindful of this in this season. Gender-based violence (GBV) is a pervasive global issue that affects people of all genders, but it disproportionately impacts women and girls. The festive season, typically associated with joy and celebration, unfortunately often witnesses an increase in GBV incidents. This essay aims to critically analyze the causes and consequences of GBV during this period, shed light on potential preventive measures, and discuss the importance of addressing this issue at a societal level.

Causes of GBV during the Festive Season:

1. Increased alcohol consumption: The festive season often involves excessive consumption of alcohol, which, when combined with societal norms that perpetuate toxic masculinity, can lead to aggressive behavior and an escalation of violence against women.

2. Financial stress and tensions: The financial pressure to meet societal expectations during the festive season can heighten stress levels, exacerbate pre-existing conflicts within intimate relationships, and contribute to acts of GBV.

3. Family dynamics: The convergence of families during the festive season can be a trigger for GBV. Strained relationships, unresolved conflicts, and rigid gender roles may contribute to a rise in violence within households.

Consequences of GBV during the Festive Season:

1. Physical and emotional trauma: Victims of GBV often experience physical injuries and emotional scars that can have long-lasting impacts on their well-being.

2. Inter-generational cycle of violence: GBV witnessed during the festive season can perpetuate a cycle of violence, normalizing abusive behavior in the eyes of younger generations and reinforcing harmful patriarchal norms.

3. Underreporting and stigma: Fear of social stigma, self-blame, and inadequate support systems may lead to underreporting of GBV incidents, allowing perpetrators to evade accountability and perpetuating a culture of silence.

Preventive Measures:

1. Public awareness campaigns: Robust awareness campaigns that educate communities about GBV, its consequences, and available support systems can help challenge societal norms and encourage reporting.

2. Strengthening support systems: Providing accessible helplines, shelters, and counseling services for survivors of GBV can offer crucial support and resources during the festive season.

3. Training and education: Mandatory gender-sensitivity training for law enforcement officials and judges can improve their understanding of GBV, ensuring fair and just handling of cases.

Addressing GBV as a Societal Issue:

1. Challenging patriarchal norms: Societal discussions and collective efforts to challenge traditional gender roles and promote gender equality are necessary to address the root causes of GBV.

2. Legal reforms: Enforcing existing laws relating to GBV and implementing progressive policies can serve as important deterrents and provide justice to survivors.

3. Collaboration between sectors: Cooperation among government agencies, civil society organizations, communities, and other stakeholders is crucial to effectively address GBV, especially during the festive season.

Gender-based violence during the festive season is a complex issue that requires broad-based efforts to address its deep-rooted causes. By understanding the factors contributing to this phenomenon, implementing preventive measures, and actively challenging societal norms, we can work towards creating a safer and more equitable environment for all during this celebratory period.