As the world grapples with the coronavirus pandemic, UN Secretary General António Guterres Monday appealed governments to pay attention to and prevent a “horrifying global surge in domestic violence” over the last few weeks amid lockdown measures imposed by several countries.
“I urged all governments to make the prevention and redress of violence against women a key part of their national response plans for COVID-19”, he said.
Through a video message posted on Twitter, Guterres pointed out how the domestic violence cases surged with the simultaneous increase in coronavirus induced lockdown measures. “Lockdown and quarantine are essential to suppress covid-19, but they can trap women with abusive partners. Over the last week as economic pressures have grown we have seen a horrifying surge in domestic violence. In some countries the number of women calling support services have doubled,” he added.
“For women and girls the threat looms largest where they should be the safest, in their homes,” he further added.
Presenting a grim picture of domestic violence against women, the secretary general suggested ways of countering it and urged world governments to follow his recommendations. He termed the following recommendations as “ways to deal” with this surge.
*Increasing investment in online services and civil society organisations
*Continuation of Judicial prosecution of the abusers
*Creating safe ways for women to seek support without alerting their abusers
*Setting up emergency warning systems in pharmacies and groceries
*Declaring shelters as essential services
Peace is not just the absence of war. Many women under lockdown for #COVID19 face violence where they should be safest: in their own homes.
Today I appeal for peace in homes around the world.
I urge all governments to put women’s safety first as they respond to the pandemic. pic.twitter.com/PjDUTrMb9v
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) April 6, 2020
The UN chief called for the total prevention of violence “everywhere from war zones to people’s homes as we work to beat COVID-19.”
Globally, nearly 70,000 people have died, while over 1.25 million have been tested positive due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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