General News

UN Chief decries 'horrifying surge' in domestic violence

Date: Apr 6, 2020

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on governments to act against “a horrifying global surge in domestic violence” in recent weeks, sparked by lockdowns.

Referring to his recent appeal for a ceasefire in conflicts around the world, Guterres stressed that violence was not always confined to battlefields.

"For many women and girls, the threat looms largest where they should be safest — in their own homes,” he said.

The UN said that, since the outbreak began, calls to domestic abuse helplines had doubled in countries like Lebanon and Malaysia compared with the same period last year. In China that number has tripled.

In Australia, Google has also seen its highest rise in searches for domestic violence help in the last five years.

Guterres said abuse had been exacerbated by economic and social stresses brought on by coronavirus. Help for victims has also been undermined as health care providers, police and local support groups face a strain on resources. Many domestic violence shelters have also been undermined by the crisis while others are full

“Together,” said Guterres, “we can and must prevent violence everywhere, from war zones to people’s homes, as we work to beat covid-19”.



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