As countries around the world try to slow the spread of COVID-19 with lockdowns, quarantines and stay-at-home orders, forcing most people into prolonged home confinement, those with abusive partners and family members face a greater danger of domestic abuse.
The United Nations secretary-general on Sunday warned that “we have seen a horrifying global surge in domestic violence,” and urged world leaders to include protective measures in their pandemic plans.
“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,” António Guterres said in a video. “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.”
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.— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) April 6, 2020
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
As HuffPost’s Melissa Jeltsen has reported, lockdowns and other restrictions create prime conditions for domestic violence because victims are stuck at home with their abusers and are cut off from family, friends, co-workers and support services.
“Perpetrators of domestic violence commonly try to isolate victims and cut off their relationships with co-workers or friends or family,” Allison Randall, the National Network to End Domestic Violence’s vice president for policy and emerging issues, said last month. “Not being able to go to work and connect with your colleagues, it can certainly increase your vulnerability.”
In New York state, the epicenter of the pandemic in the U.S., domestic violence calls to the police have gone up by as much as 15% to 20% in recent weeks, Melissa De Rosa, top aide to Gov....