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Abstract

Gender based violence can be viewed--using the sociologist C. Wright Mills's conceptual vocabulary introduced in his book The Sociological Imagination (1959)--as both a personal trouble and a public issue. Gender based violence was most often seen in the past as a personal trouble, a private matter between couples. Of course for the women who endure this violence it is very personal and very troubling to their safety and damaging to their whole sense of being and self-worth. Only recently has gender based violence come to be seen as a public issue. In the 1980s domestic violence was found to be the leading cause of injuries to women, and the Surgeon General deemed domestic violence, "the most serious health risk facing women" (Disch 2006:471). It is not only domestic violence that is an issue in gender violence but the trafficking of women and girls through countries as sex slaves and prostitutes, and governments' inaction to stop this. This writing has allowed me to learn from my own person troubles with domestic violence, and to see the ways in which gender based violence is a bigger social issue. Putting this paper together helped me to see that it wasn't just my own personal "defects," or just his insecurities, that caused me to experience a violent relationship, as "the individual abuser and the victim do not operate in a vacuum; rather, they are nested within the supportive circles of social institutions and culture."

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