GBV gets worse in any crisis and COVID-19 is no exception. Governments worldwide have introduced social distancing and lockdown-type, stay-at-home measures to contain the disease, but those same restrictions have created conditions conducive to physical, emotional, and sexual abuse of the most vulnerable members of society.
Those who are abused by family members, often have little or no access to the usual routes of escape. Additionally, fewer visitors to the household means that evidence of physical abuse is more likely to go unnoticed. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the world has witnessed a surge in domestic violence cases since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic (Townsend, 2020).
More information on the global impact of Covid-19 on GBV is available in this report from the Legal Empowerment Group on GBV. The report evaluates institutional and societal responses to GBV from multiple countries during the COVID-19 pandemic; a time where all forms of violence against women and girls increased. Recommendations are made to protect women from violence, particularly in emergency or crisis situations.