COVID-19: Stopping the rise in domestic violence during lockdown

08-04-2020 - 09:31
Hands holding “Stop Violence” sign
Thematic Digest on the Istanbul Convention - combating violence against women, November 2017 © European Parliament

Chair, Evelyn Regner, urges the EU and member states to increase support: These days and the weeks ahead are especially dangerous for women. Just as we all face major psychological challenges through isolation or quarantine, they mean a special stress test for women in family environments or tense partnerships. We, therefore, must not neglect our commitment to the fight against violence against women. On the contrary, we must now pay particular attention and expand the corresponding offers.

At this point I appeal to all EU member states to tackle this problem determinedly and to communicate actively where and how those affected can get help. This must also include simple forms of contact, such as SMS or chats, and the use of code words with doctors or pharmacists. In addition, the available care places in violence protection facilities and women's shelters must be increased. Wherever the EU can, it must support Member States' measures financially and by means of communication.

The Covid-19 pandemic relentlessly discloses gender inequality in all its shapes and forms. As OECD figures show 70% of the health care workforce are women, a large part of the unpaid care work is done by women, the upcoming economic crisis will hit women much harder. It is our job to sustainably strengthen the physical and mental health of women and their economic independence - also beyond the Corona crisis. We will certainly not leave Europe's women alone.