April 15, 2020 at 5:02 pm #2083
All over Europe we are living in a situation of pandemic of COVID-19 caused by a coronavirus, as the WHO Director-General declare on 11th March 2020, and the consequential restrictions’ measures to contain the COVID-19 adopted by the Countries. One of this measures is the lockdown, that we are all living.
At the same time many voices are rising to focus on the dangerous situation due to forced cohabitation in the home, that women at risk or victims of domestic violence live.
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, citing a sharp rise in domestic violence amid global coronavirus lockdowns, called on governments around the world to make addressing the issue a key part of their response to the pandemic.
Guterres said “violence is not confined to the battlefield. For many women and girls, the threat looms largest where they should be safest — in their own homes.”
“We know lockdowns and quarantines are essential to suppressing COVID-19”, he continues, “but they can trap women with abusive partners. Over the past weeks, as the economic and social pressures and fear have grown, we have seen a horrifying surge in domestic violence.”
The secretary-general said in some countries “the number of women calling support services has doubled” while “healthcare providers and police are overwhelmed and understaffed.”
“I urge all governments to make the prevention and redress of violence against women a key part of their national response plan to COVID-19,” he said.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) notes that women and girls with disabilities face the same spectrum of human rights abuses that women without disabilities face, but their social isolation and dependence magnifies these abuses and their consequences. At the time when people are advised to stay home, people with disabilities face a new challenge by being exposed to isolation from the outside world in constant presence of their unpaid care givers. The statistics show though that most often the perpetrators of abuse against women with disabilities include family members, intimate partners, caregivers, and peers. Behind closed doors, what happens at the time of COVID-19 epidemics with people with disabilities? Do they have the needed access to services and/or do they experience new abuse deprived with restrictions of access to medical and social care and communication with the outside world?
For planning of services, detailed knowledge of which people with disabilities are facing which barriers to access services is very important. Approximately 300 million women around the world have mental and physical disabilities.
With current lots of emergencies do governments not let people with disabilities behind? And women at risk of domestic violence?