The Rise Of GBV In Times Of Crisis

For women, girls and the LGBTQ community that are already living in violent or abusive situations, violence tends to get worse in times of crisis. With lockdowns happening now, even beginning to think about leaving a violent place of living may seem and be impossible.

@skowalski (Shannon Kowalski), Director of Advocacy & Policy at IWHC recently shared her thoughts on Twitter which highlights the dire situation at the moment:  

  • Domestic and intimate partner violence is on the increase. Working from a home office, the closure of schools and inevitably job-loss together with the stress and feeling of helplessness and vulnerability has an impact on the GBV landscape.
  • Men take out their anger and frustrations on their partners and children. This occurs in heterosexual relationships as well as in same-sex relationships and other family structures.
  • Access to essential services especially clinics and healthcare services are currently disrupted.  While pharmacies are staying open in most places for now, it’s likely that access to contraceptives for some may already be interrupted. Partners who suffer from the likes of personality disorders cannot access their medication. In a lockdown that is worse. It is important to encourage your family to go and get a 3 month supply of medication for illnesses (mental and Physical) for as long as possible.  
  • The self-management of abortions using medication and backstreet clinics increases the danger of the pregnant women. Abortions done unprofessionally will cause permanent damage to the body and women could be prosecuted as the law states it is illegal. Hospitals and clinics will be fuller than usual with people infected by the Covid-19 Virus and need to be hospitalized and in quarantine over the coming weeks, so mothers to be who have to access Government facilities to have their children will find themselves worrying and stressed that there won’t be facilities available to give birth. The impact of this will be felt hardest by those who earn low income.   

There is so much more we can say about the impact of crisis on the lives of women and girls, but with all of the increasing and very necessary restrictions on people’s everyday lives, these are often the impacts that do not get discussed.  

When crises strike, gender inequalities are often exasperated.  

These include: 

  • Increase in GBV 
  • Limited or no access to life-saving services 
  • Exclusion in decision-making 

Let’s collectively think of ways to support Women and Girls on the African continent and continue to combat the prevalence of gender-based-violence during this time and share our resources, tips and toolkits for the advancement of #tech4good and #tech2endGBV – join our conversation here: 

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