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.
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.