Accessibility links

Breaking News

UN Warns of ‘Shadow Pandemic’ as Domestic Violence Increases Globally

A woman takes part in a demonstration marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, in Guatemala City, Nov. 25, 2020.

Rallies were held around the world Wednesday on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

This year, activists are noting the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on domestic violence. The theme for 2020 is “Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!”

“As countries implemented lockdown measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus, violence against women, especially domestic violence, intensified – in some countries, calls to help lines have increased fivefold. In others, formal reports of domestic violence have decreased as survivors find it harder to seek help and access support through the regular channels,” U.N. Women wrote on its website.

The U.N. is urging governments worldwide to ensure that they’re funding essential services for women who need help, calling domestic violence the “shadow pandemic” as the coronavirus continues to keep many families isolated.

French authorities reported that domestic violence cases registered with the government rose 42% during its first virus lockdown in the spring.

A report from U.N. Women in Arab states also noted increases in reports and fear of domestic violence since the pandemic began.