UN Alarmed as Domestic Violence Spikes 04/06 06:04
UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Sunday
night that there has been "a horrifying global surge in domestic violence" as
fear of the coronavirus has grown along with its social and economic
The U.N. chief, whp appealed on March 23 for an immediate cease-fire in
conflicts around the world to tackle the pandemic, said in statement it is time
to appeal for an end to all violence, "everywhere, now."
"For many women and girls, the threat looms largest where they should be
safest --- in their own homes," Gutteres said. "And so I make a new appeal
today for peace at home --- and in homes --- around the world."
He said that in some countries, which he didn't name, "the number of women
calling support services has doubled."
At the same time, he said, health care providers and police are overwhelmed
and understaffed, local support groups are paralyzed or short of funds, and
some domestic violence shelters are closed while others are full.
"I urge 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 that means creating safe ways for women to seek support without
alerting their abusers, setting up emergency warning systems that abused women
can access in pharmacies and food stores, increasing spending on online
services and civil society organizations to help those abused, and declaring
shelters an essential service.
According to media reports, calls to online services and domestic violence
cases have increased in the United States, gender-based violence cases doubled
in India during the first week of restricted movements, the killing of women
has surged in Turkey since the government advised people to stay home March 11,
and almost 90,000 reports of gender-based violence were reported in South
Africa during the first week of its lock-down.
In addition, the Australian government reported a 75% increase in online
searches for support on domestic violence, and a French minister said domestic
violence rose 32% across France and 36% in Paris in one week, according to the
"Together, we can and must prevent violence everywhere, from war zones to
people's homes, as we work to beat COVID-19," the U.N. chief said.