YWCA-MC knows all too well what’s been termed as the Shadow Pandemic, violence against women and girls. The numbers are shocking and disturbing. The numbers cited are expected to increase as security, health and monetary stressors continue to grow. Heightened tensions while in close confinement with abusive partners can result in explosive violence.
243 Million women and girls of the ages 15-49 have been subjected to sexual and/or physical violence perpetrated by and intimate partner in the previous 12 months. As Covid-19 continues to ravage the world, new data shows an increase in violence against women and girls. France reported a 30% increase since their lock down. Argentina has had a 25% increase since they locked down. Cyprus has increased by 30% and Singapore reports 33% increase. In our support of women in Monterey county, we have seen a three fold increase in crisis calls from women and girls experiencing violence.
While most agencies battle the illness, we are fighting the shadow pandemic, violence against women and girls. Shelter in Place orders further isolates women from resources that can help them. Domestic violence remains widely under-reported. Less than 40% of women who experience violence reports it to authorities. Further compounding the reporting issue is the hopeless feeling of being told to stay at home with their abuser. Work is often an escape for a woman in an abusive home environment. With no acceptable reason to leave the house, their partner can exert full control over the family.
Knowledge is power and we share these numbers with you in an effort to bring attention to the shadow pandemic, violence against women and girls. We must ensure the justice system is properly protecting women, so please talk to your family and loved ones to bring awareness to those who are struggling.
The YWCA-MC is continuing to support women in crisis. We have been adapting our services and can help. If you are experiencing any type of violence, we have steps you can take to keep you and your family as safe as possible. Sometimes, these steps can bring you some peace of mind knowing you have made moves to protect yourself. Call our 24 hour crisis line and we can help.
This infographic is from UN Women
a global champion for gender equality, working to develop and uphold standards and create an environment in which every woman and girl can exercise her human rights and live up to her full potential.