Domestic violence spikes during pandemic lockdowns
Madrid Desk, 25 Nov (efe-epa).- On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women being observed on Wednesday, the issue of domestic violence has been brought to the forefront across the globe.
Studies have shown that violence against women has dramatically increased amid the global coronavirus pandemic, especially during lockdowns, highlighting the need to work harder to prevent abuse and help victims.
French President Emmanuel Macron warned of the spike in domestic violence during lockdowns and said this reality should “never become a fatality”.
In addition to two different telephone hotlines, the French government has set up a website so that victims or witnesses can report violence, in addition to promotions to target young people on popular social media platforms like Tik Tok.
During the first lockdown, between March and May, online domestic violence alerts increased fivefold, and last week, just two weeks after the most recent lockdown began, the same platform recorded a 15 percent increase in calls.
Female deaths from domestic violence have notably increased in recent years in France.
Between July 2019 and July 2020, 146 women died at the hands of their partners or former partners in France, compared to 121 in 2018.
On Wednesday, Italy recorded another female death as a result of domestic violence.
Loredana Scalise, 52, was found dead early Wednesday in Catanzaro (south), allegedly stabbed to death by her male partner.
According to a report by the European Job Mobility Portal EURES, 91 women were murdered in Italy in the first 10 months of this year.
Italian prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, said: “If we were to carry out a real census today we would see that the figures would be much higher” and stressed that instances of femicide “tripled during the lockdown, reaching a rate of one every three days.”
Calls to report violence against women increased by 73 percent during Italy’s lockdown.
One in five criminal incidents recorded by British police during and shortly after the first lockdown in England and Wales, were linked to domestic violence.
With 259,324 such crimes reported, it revealed a 7 percent increase in domestic violence incidents compared to 2019, and an increase of 18 percent from two years ago, according to data released on Wednesday by the National Statistics Office.
However, the NSO pointed out that this kind of violence had already been increasing in recent years, so it cannot be determined that the rise in cases solely related to the pandemic.
Last April, the YouAreNotAlone campaign was launched to try and support victims and encourage citizen’s vigilance for signs of abuse.