Isolation, closure of schools and diversion of policing and health resources “a potential disaster” for women and girls: Women are needed at the planning table now
Emergency funding needed for the charities which support survivors, with need to protect BME 'by and for' provision & support provision for disabled women
Immediate abolition of “no recourse to public funds” rules which prevent migrant women accessing refuges and other support required
Public awareness campaigns aimed at potential perpetrators and at neighbours/family/friends as well as those aimed at victims needed
“We must not get to the end of this public health emergency and look back on it as a
period when a ‘secondary’ predictable disaster was allowed to happen.”
EMERGENCY COVID-19 FUNDING UPDATE (07.05.20)
In light of the £76 million announced for domestic abuse, sexual violence, vulnerable children and modern slavery we have released this statement. This statement has been sent to policy makers and is endorsed by wide range of VAWG organisations including those who supported previous statements including this one on funding and this one on emergency action.
It is clear and foreseeable now that the COVID-19 pandemic, and the emergency measures that must be taken to control it, will lead to an increase in all forms violence against women and girls, including domestic and sexual violence. The ongoing planning of the response must factor in this predictable impact, and include strategies to protect women and girls and prevent assaults and murders before they happen. This requires leadership at the highest level of Government, and from those leading key areas of public life: policing, health, schools, communities and welfare. Women and girls have rights to protection and safety, and it is everyone’s business to be part of the prevention of abuse.
It is also clear that COVID-19 ‘landed’ on top of widespread abuse, deep inequalities, and victim-blaming.
COVID-19 does not cause abuse, it creates a ‘conducive context’.
We have published a Briefing in an attempt to set out the consequences that COVID-19, and the necessary public health measures being implemented to control it, may have for women and girls who are experiencing or who are at risk of violence. It does not comprehensively set out all risks and consequences, but it will be updated as any trends, data, analysis and change become apparent.
We are making recommendations which are appropriate and urgent at time of writing in early April, according to what we and our members understand is happening for women and girls. This is an unprecedented situation and we do not have a full policy prescription for what Government, frontline public services, funders, businesses and civil society groups should do. But we do insist that there is a clear duty to foresee the very likely consequences for women and girls in a society which is partially ‘shut down’, and to aim to prevent them.
Specialist organisations have created Covid-19 resources for both survivors and family, friends, neighbours and the community: