“Every country, every community—must have essential services and solutions to keep every woman and every girl safe from violence while we meet the human crisis of #COVID19.” Amina J Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations”
The Covid 19 pandemic has the world in an unprecedented standstill. Citizens are ordered to stay home in order to stay safe, save lives, and prevent the spread of the deadly disease.
Unfortunately, the home is not safe for all. Some women and girls are faced with domestic violence and abuse.
UN chief António Guterres has called for measures to address a “horrifying global surge in domestic violence” directed towards women and girls, linked to lockdowns imposed by governments responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Together, we can and must prevent violence everywhere, from war zones to people’s homes, as we work to beat COVID-19 António Guterres, UN Secretary-General”
According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), emerging data show that since the outbreak of COVID-19, violence against women and girls (VAWG), and particularly domestic violence has intensified. Children are at heightened risk of abuse, neglect, exploitation, and violence amidst intensifying containment measures.
According to Women at Risk International Foundation (WARIF), it has recorded a 64 percent increase in sexual abuses during the 14-day lockdown of Lagos, Abuja, and the Federal Capital Territory mandated by President Muhammadu Buhari to help curb the spread of COVID-19.
According to NOIPolls, Spousal violence is still prevalent in our society, almost 6 in 10 Nigerians believe wives are being abused by husbands with the NW (66%) having the most responses and the SE (45%) having the least responses in that regard.
It can be concluded that in the midst of the global pandemic, there lies the invisible pandemic, called gender-based violence (GVB). GBV affects 1 in 3 women globally and now threatens to increase during COVID19. Measures need to be put in place to end GBV in homes, communities, and countries. 1 in 3 women worldwide has experienced physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner. 6 out of 10 Nigerian Children experience some form of violence (physical, sexual, and mental).
Gender-Based Violence has always been an issue however, sexual and Gender-based violence (SGBV) incidence globally has skyrocketed since the lockdowns as a result of the Covid19 pandemic. The Covid19 pandemic has affected many especially women and girls. Intimate partner violence is the most common form of violence.
Gender-Based Violence is a human rights violation and prevents women and girls from reaching their full potential. GBV survivors are left with little or no choice than to remain with their abuser in an abusive environment and have access to little or no help because of the restriction of movements.
Women and children are vulnerable especially during the Covid 19 pandemic. Access to assistance has been cut out as a result of the lockdown.
IF YOUR HOME IS NOT SAFE THERE IS NO NEED TO STAY HOME.
SEEK HELP AND ASSISTANCE.
IF YOU ARE FACING SEXUAL ABUSE AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
REMAINING SILENT ONLY PROTECTS THE PERPETRATOR (ABUSER) AND NOT THE SURVIVOR.
Three ways you can contribute to addressing sexual and gender-based violence during the Covid19 pandemic
Educate yourself and others about Gender-Based Violence (GBV)
To be able to address sexual and Gender-Based Violence you have to be properly armed with the right information about GBV. What is GBV? Are legal frameworks available to provide remedies for GBV survivors? Referral centers available in the country among others.
Here are a few resources to educate yourself about GBV
Check out the National Sexual Violence Resource Center and the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape have developed dozens of online learning tools, and they are all available to you for free!
Free online courses are ideal for advocates, teachers, and parents — and Safe Secure Kids is an interactive family activity.
Brush up on the basics of sexual assault prevention with our free online learning courses.
Take a deep dive into sexual violence prevention with our free online learning courses: https://buff.ly/3cEPsQO
Learn the best practices of evaluating your sexual violence prevention efforts with our free online courses.
Explore our free online learning opportunities on the basics of sexual assault advocacy.
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is excited to launch the new and updated version of our free online course on Managing Gender-Based Violence Programmes in Emergencies.
The course targets new or emerging gender-based violence (GBV) specialists as well as humanitarian or development practitioners and others who want to increase their knowledge around GBV prevention and response in emergencies.
Use Social Media as a tool to raise awareness about GBV
Social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, blogging, etc. are great tools for raising awareness about Gender-Based violence. Educate users about what is GBV?, Types of GBV, Sexual consent, laws against GBV, and other issues.
Provide support and help to a Gender-Based violence survivor
You can provide support to gender-based violence survivors. Support such as legal, emotional, empowerment, referral to government agencies, or organizations whos mandate is helping and providing justice for survivors.
Let’s keep the conversation going in the comment section, sharing your opinions, and contributions on more ways to address sexual and gender-based for survivors during the covid19 pandemic.