Lockdowns, social distancing and other restrictions have left millions of women and girls vulnerable to a growing shadow pandemic of domestic violence, cyberviolence and exploitative grooming of children who have limited access to help.
Even in normal times, an unacceptably high one-in-three women around the world have suffered domestic violence and 38 per cent of all murders of women are committed by intimate partners. With confinement, we have seen an increase of more than 30 per cent in calls to helplines in some countries as lockdowns for 4 billion people build pressure.
In France, reports of domestic violence have increased by 30% since the lockdown on 17 March. Increased cases of domestic violence and demand for emergency shelter have also been reported in Canada, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.Victims face limited access to protective services during periods of quarantine. The coronavirus crisis, which is expected to push the world economy into a recession, may also ultimately make it more difficult for victims to leave abusive relationships. This marks an urgent call for action for the private sector to leverage their existing resources and influence to keep women safe at home and safe at work.
The webinar will showcase business’ role in caring about their employees working remotely from home in times of COVID-19. The panelists will speak about practical policies and services companies could develop, implement and practice to help stop domestic violence.