UN Women advises that since the outbreak of COVID-19, all types of violence against women and girls, particularly domestic violence, has intensified. This Shadow Pandemic is growing amidst the COVID-19 crisis and we need a global collective effort to stop it.
The social disruption caused by the pandemic has led to:
Security, health and money worries
Women living in isolation with abusers
Cramped living conditions
These can all be triggers for violence.
As COVID-19 cases continue to strain health services, essential services, such as domestic violence shelters and helplines, have reached capacity.
More needs to be done to prioritize addressing violence against women in COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.
Everyone has a role to play.
UN Women is providing up-to-date information and supporting vital programmes to fight the Shadow Pandemic of violence against women during COVID-19.
POSING for a photo on this symbolic purple bench was no empty gesture for Melville councillor Karen Wheatland.
Perched prominently on Canning Highway, the otherwise unremarkable piece of Applecross street furniture was installed by the City of Melville as part of the Purple Bench Project, which aims to honour victims of domestic homicide and raise awareness of family and domestic violence.
“Everyone’s got their own experience of domestic violence in some way, shape or form; I’m a survivor of it,” Cr Wheatland said.
“I’ve been active in this space for nearly 30 years.
“It’s an issue that affects every pocket of our community … and I think the biggest perpetrator of domestic violence in the past has been denial.”
The WA State Government’s campaign for 2021 is themed around the tagline ‘Don’t be silent when you see violence’.
The campaign encourages bystanders to speak up and contribute to positive change towards the safety and respect of women in our community.
The key messages are:
Violence against anyone is unacceptable.
We all have a responsibility to help stop the violence.
Stopping violence against women means promoting equality and respectful relationships, violence-free spaces and safer communities.
Breaking the cycle of family and domestic violence starts with respect for women.
Everyone has a part to play by calling out disrespectful behaviour in all areas of life.
The statistics reflect the size of the problem:
65 per cent of assaults recorded in Western Australia last year were related to family and domestic violence (up 15 per cent on 2019).
Of the 22,257 victims, 73 per cent – or 16,262 victims – were female.
48 per cent (28 victims) of homicide and related offences (including murder, attempted murder and manslaughter) in Western Australia were related to family and domestic violence last year. Of this, 19 victims were female.
1 in 2 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced sexual harassment since the age of 15.
There were 3,048 victims of sexual assault in Western Australia last year – a 10 per cent increase on 2019.
Of these, 86 per cent (or 2,615 victims) were female.
The UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE by 2030 to End Violence against Women campaign is managed by UN Women. It is a multi-year effort aimed at preventing and eliminating violence against women and girls around the world.
The UNiTE campaign has proclaimed the 25th of each month as “Orange Day”, a day to raise awareness and take action to end violence against women and girls. As a bright and optimistic colour, orange represents a future free from violence against women and girls.
Orange Day calls upon activists, governments, and UN partners to mobilize people and highlight issues relevant to preventing and ending violence against women and girls, not only once a year, on 25 November (the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women), but every month.
On the 25th day of every month, Say NO–UNiTE mobilizes people worldwide to support the #OrangeDay initiative. It calls on people everywhere to wear the colour orange and take action to end violence against women and girls in every community, at home, in public spaces, in schools and workplaces, during conflict and in times of peace.