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Contact restrictions encourage domestic violence
Already at the beginning of the corona pandemic, various agencies had warned of an increase in domestic violence. Now there are numbers that confirm this forecast. The World Health Organization (WHO), in collaboration with the College of Health and Human Services, has evaluated the first statistics - with a frightening result.
The number of deaths from domestic violence has doubled
In some regions, authorities reported that the number of cases of domestic violence tripled, the article recently published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) said: "In the Jianli district of Hubei Province, a police station reported a tripling of cases of domestic violence February 2020 compared to February 2019 and estimates that 90% of the cases were related to the Covid 19 epidemic. ”
Apparently, domestic violence deaths have increased dramatically in places since the corona pandemic began: “In the United Kingdom, a project to investigate violence against women showed that the number of deaths from domestic violence increased between March 23 and April 12th had more than doubled compared to the average rate in the previous 10 years (to 16 deaths), "said the report in the BMJ.
Lockdown exacerbates the problem
The contact and exit restrictions during the current COVID-19 pandemic appear to be causing violence to worsen.
"Although there is little data available, media coverage and reports from organizations responding to violence against women show an alarming picture of the increasing violence by intimate partners during this outbreak," the experts report. The measures of physical distancing were also often used to further isolate women affected.
Domestic violence in crises
This development under the pandemic was predictable, according to the report. Similar developments had already been observed during earlier epidemics such as Ebola.
“Half of the world's population is being asked to stay at home to slow the spread of COVID-19. For women who already live in abuse relationships or are at risk of being abused, a stay at home increases the risk of violence by intimate partners, ”the article says.
Children are also at greater risk of becoming victims of violence and sexual abuse. According to the report, thirty percent of women worldwide experience physical or sexual violence from an intimate partner in the course of their lives.
Support for those affected urgently needs to be increased
The authors of the report urge governments to take immediate action to provide more support and care to those affected: “Governments must include essential services to combat violence against women in the Covid 19 response plans, provide them with resources and strategies to make them accessible during the physical distancing measures. "
Even health facilities should not ignore this problem, despite the increased exposure to COVID-19. Health care facilities should know about locally available support services (such as hotlines, accommodation, crisis centers for rape, counseling) and refer women to them if necessary.
The report's authors urge governments not to abandon domestic violence victims during the COVID-19 pandemic: “While the global health community is addressing the best way to stop the spread of Covid-19 , the ongoing epidemic of violence against women must not be ignored. "
Those affected can find support here
You can find important emergency numbers and online offers to support those affected in our article "Corona: fear of increased domestic violence - you will find help here". (kh)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
Magistra Artium (M.A.) Katja Helbig
- Roesch, Elisabeth, Amin, Avni, Gupta, Jhumka, García-Moreno, Claudia: Violence against women during covid-19 pandemic restrictions; The British Medical Journal, May 2020, BMJ