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5 Free Courses to Support Victims of Gender Based Violence

Gender-based violence is violence specifically against women and girls. On a global scale, it affects 1 in 3 women in their lifetimes. The definition includes physical and sexual intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence, and female genital mutilation and cutting. This has psychological and emotional ramifications, and according to the World Bank, there are also social and economic costs. Identifying and preventing gender-based violence, as well as holding perpetrators accountable, plays a big role in a country’s overall health. To learn more about this global issue, here are five gender-based violence courses:

Confronting Gender-Based Violence: Global Lessons for Healthcare Workers (Johns Hopkins University)

In this course, students from the healthcare field learn about gender-based violence (GBV) as it relates to healthcare. That includes examining the global impact of GBV, health outcomes, research, and clinical practices. The core curriculum is intended for healthcare workers like social workers, nurses, midwives, doctors, and others. To pass the course, this curriculum is required. Also, there’s an Honors curriculum that digs into other issues and specialized topics like violence against sex workers and human trafficking.

The course is considered a Beginner Level course. It has flexible deadlines and takes about 16 hours to complete. A paid certificate (there’s also financial aid) is available, but taking the class is free. It’s taught in English.

Supporting Victims of Domestic Violence (University of Sheffield)

Designed for health and social care professionals, this course explores the global health issue of domestic violence. The goal is to learn how to better support those impacted by it. Other professionals like lawyers and teachers can also benefit from the course, which helps with how to recognize abuse. Topics include how common domestic violence is around the world, the role of gender, factors that influence abuse, and safety planning.

This class covers 3 weeks with a 3-hour weekly commitment. It’s free to sign up and access, but extra benefits (starting at around $60) include a Certificate of Achievement. This would be beneficial to professionals who want to show they’re committed to continuing their education. After completing the course, participants will be able to define and identify forms of domestic violence and abuse. They’ll also be equipped to offer effective support to those affected by it.

Understanding Violence Against Women: Myths and Realities (University of Strathclyde)

This course digs into the causes of violence against women, which the United Nations describes as an epidemic. Anyone concerned about gender-based violence is welcome to join this class. Topics include the definition of violence against women, how culture and the media portray it, and national/international strategies for preventing GBV. Those who finish the course will have a clearer understanding of the extent and impact of violence in a global society.

This course is free to audit online when it’s running. A paid certificate is available for those who want to show they are continuing their education. The course lasts 6 weeks with a 2-hour a week commitment. It’s taught in English. Prior experience with the course’s subject matter is not required.

Understanding Violence (Emory University)

Every nation in the world is affected by violence, but it’s not a simple issue. This course explores different types of violence and their causes with experts. Topics include sexual violence, intimate partner violence, suicide, and more. The portrayal of violence in the media is also discussed. President Jimmy Carter presents a lecture on how the Carter Center is responding to violence around the world. Work in this course includes short videos, discussions, and reading.

Auditing this 6-week class is free. A paid certificate is available. In general, the weekly commitment time is 3-4 hours. The class is taught in English with English, Arabic, and Greek subtitles.

Violence Against Healthcare (University of Geneva)

Healthcare workers play a crucial role in the response to gender-based violence, but the field itself is often in peril. In this course, students learn about how healthcare workers can be protected. Policy-makers, human rights organizations, and healthcare professionals should all be involved. Topics in this course include the rights and responsibilities of healthcare staff, ethics, and how communities can respond to violence against healthcare.

This beginner-level course is free to audit with a paid certificate available. In general, it takes a total of 15 hours to complete with a suggested time frame of 5 hours per week. Deadlines are flexible. The course is in English.

About the author

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Emmaline Soken-Huberty

Emmaline Soken-Huberty is a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon. She started to become interested in human rights while attending college, eventually getting a concentration in human rights and humanitarianism. LGBTQ+ rights, women’s rights, and climate change are of special concern to her. In her spare time, she can be found reading or enjoying Oregon’s natural beauty with her husband and dog.