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Guterres calls for an end to domestic violence amidst coronavirus fight

Author: Emmanuel J Akile | Published: Monday, April 6, 2020

Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General | File photo PHOTO//Getty images

The UN Secretary-General is calling for an end to domestic violence as the world is fighting against the COVID-19.

Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another.

António Guterres says violence against women has reportedly increased among those quarantined and amidst the lockdown in some countries.

He made the statement yesterday, urging governments to make the prevention and redress of violence against women a key part of national response plans for COVID-19.

António Guterres says judicial systems should continue to prosecute those who abuse women and girls.

He called on governments to create safe ways for women to seek support, without alerting their abusers…

“I appealed for an end to violence everywhere, now,” he said adding that “for many women and girls, the threat looms largest where they should be safest.”

The UN chief also appealed for “peace at home — and in homes — around the world.”

“We know lockdowns and quarantines are essential to suppressing COVID-19 but they can trap women with abusive partners. Over the past weeks, as economic and social pressures and fear have grown, we have seen a horrifying global surge in domestic violence.”

Guterres said in some countries, the number of women calling support services as a result of domestic violence has doubled.

“I urge all governments to make the prevention and redress of violence against women a key part of their national response plans for COVID-19. Women’s rights and freedoms are essential to strong, resilient societies. Together, we can and must prevent violence everywhere, from war zones to people’s homes, as we work to beat COVID-19.”

According to the UN reports, gender-based violence, or GBV – including rape, sexual assault, harassment, domestic violence, and forced marriages have been a persistent problem in South Sudan prior to the current conflict.

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