Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) António Guterres warned in the night from Sunday to Monday about the “horrific increase in reports of domestic violence against women”. In several countries, helplines would have spoken twice as many women as normal, but Guterres did not name which countries.
In the Netherlands, there is as yet no significant increase in reports of domestic violence from the Safe at Home organization, as was previously shown by inquiries by this site. The spokesman for the organization was “concerned” because emergency services have less insight than usual on issues such as domestic violence and child abuse.
The same also stings Guterres. “Rescuers are overwhelmed and understaffed. Support groups lack funding and shelters for women are closed or full.”
The Secretary General acknowledges that lockdowns and quarantine measures are necessary in the fight against coronavirus, but women are inadvertently imprisoned with abusers. Because they find it difficult to hide themselves from their partner, they should be offered more options to report domestic violence, Guterres argues.
“Introduce warning systems at supermarkets”
The UN boss calls for a warning system at supermarkets and pharmacies, where women can tell their story without alerting their partner. In addition, more online services need to be set up and human rights organizations deserve support.
Finally, prosecution of abusers should continue to be a high priority and reception centers should be identified as an “essential place”, Guterres said. “Protecting women is a primary concern in the fight against coronavirus.”
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The coronavirus in short
- The coronavirus mainly spreads from person to person via sneezing and cough drops. The chance of becoming infected through surfaces such as door handles is small. This chance decreases if you wash your hands often.
- You can considerably reduce the chance of spreading by keeping at least 1.5 meters away from others.
- The corona measures have resulted in an infected person infecting less than one other person on average. Previously, this so-called reproduction number was between two and three.
- The vast majority of patients have mild (flu-like) complaints.
- Almost all deaths involve the elderly or other vulnerable persons, such as heart, lung or diabetes patients. If everyone complies with the measures, this reduces their risks.
- Read here what precautions you should take.