Today (12.06.20) key organisations from the Violence Against Women & Girls sector launch their series of recommendations following the ‘Hidden Harms’ summit hosted by the Prime Minister in May. The 20 page document details an action plan for responding to the Covid-19 pandemic and covering areas such as leadership, funding, migrant women, criminal justice system and more.
The VAWG sector remains concerned at the lack of a coordinated cross-government response to VAWG, at the complexity of the funding streams delivering vital emergency funding, at the lack of ring-fenced funding for the most at risk support services run ‘by and for’ BME and migrant women, Deaf and disabled women, and LGBT+ survivors, and with the delay in these funds reaching the frontline.
The virus is increasing harm faced by millions of women and children experiencing domestic abuse, sexual violence, forced marriage, ‘honour based’ abuse, child sexual abuse, FGM and other forms of VAWG. In April 2020 we wrote to the Prime Minister to state that it was “highly foreseeable that the Covid-19 pandemic, and the emergency measures that must be taken to control it, will lead to an increase in violence against women and girls in the UK.”
The Covid-19 pandemic is disproportionately impacting communities living under oppression. Black and minoritised communities are experiencing the highest levels of death rates from the virus, a direct result of structural inequality in society that leads to deprivation, unsafe working conditions, poor health outcomes and systemic barriers in accessing their rights (Public Health England, Disparities in the risk and outcomes of COVID-19, June 2020)
The full sector response to Hidden Harms Action Plan is available here: