Please find attached information sheets on COVID-19 and violence against women that have been developed by the WHO team
The World Health Organisation (WHO) have identified that stress, disruption to protective networks (such as friends and family) and access to services will all adversely affect violence against women against the backdrop of Covid-19. Job losses, the increased proximity of direct family members but decreased access to the extended family have also been identified as outcomes. In this crisis, women bear the brunt of the increased care work; including caring for children who are not at school and elderly relatives staying in this household. This has also impacted on their ability to work from home.
Perpetrators of abuse may use the restrictions in place on movement and access to financial resources to exercise power and control over their partners. This may result in reduced access to services for help and support for these women. Controlling access to soap and sanitizers for women may also be a tactic used by perpetrators to exert power and increase anxiety for their partners. The spreading of misinformation has also been highlighted as a technique used by some perpetrators to exert authority.
WHO has asked governments and policymakers to consider essential domestic violence services in response to COVID-19 and to identify ways to make these services accessible within the context of physical distancing measures. They provided suggestions for health facilities and providers, humanitarian organisations, community members and to women themselves who are experiencing violence during this international crisis.