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    • COVID-19 isolation could create ‘fertile ground for domestic violence’

      On the day that France’s President Emmanuel Macron announced sweeping plans to go into a 15-day period of enforced lockdown from Tuesday, concerns also arose as to the potential increase in cases of gender-based domestic violence, following a previous surge in China under similar conditions.

      “The crisis that we are going through and the quarantine could unfortunately create a fertile ground of domestic violence,” read a statement from France’s Secretary of State in charge of Gender Equality, Marlùne Schiappa, adding that with the new quarantine measures in France, “the situation of emergency shelters for female victims of domestic violence is a major concern.”

      The statement also recognised that although courts in France are on lockdown, domestic violence cases are still open and being dealt with, and that the government website, Arretons Les Violences is still online, but that the ‘3919’ emergency hotline service for domestic violence victims will be operating under a reduced service.

      It is understood the state department will hold talks with the Fédération Nationale Solidarité Femmes on Wednesday to discuss the possibility of keeping the line open.

      The French Feminist collective NousToutes also recently highlighted the potential risk of domestic violence cases rising as a result of enforced isolation and called upon victims to make use of the 3919 emergency hotline.

      “Being confined at home with a violent man is dangerous. It is not recommended to go out. It is not forbidden to flee. Need help? Call 3919,” a statement from the group on Twitter read.

      Not forgetting the victims

      Due to the potential stress on public services as part of France’s ongoing battle against the coronavirus outbreak, some in Europe have been calling for the authorities to make sure that the authorities do not lose sight of the work they do in tackling domestic violence.

      Amandine Clavaud, policy adviser on Europe and gender equality at the Fondation Jean-JaurĂšs in Paris told EURACTIV that there is a need for an increase in vigilance on behalf of public bodies, with regards to these types of issues.

      “We have to be very attentive to the risks towards women and children amid this crisis, because the work of associations will possibly slow down with the quarantine,” she said.

      “In the case where public services reach saturation point, the treatments of domestic violence cases should definitely not be left-behind, but fully part of the whole strategy in dealing with the crisis.”

      Crisis abuse cases

      Concerns have arisen both in the United States and China with regards to the increase in domestic violence cases that could occur as a result of people in abusive relationships being forced to isolate together, and rights groups in Europe have now started to sound the horn over potential blindspots in this area.

      “In times of crisis and natural disasters, there is a documented rise in domestic abuse. As normal life shuts down, victims – who are usually women – can be exposed to abusers for long periods of time and cut off from social and institutional support,” the European Institute for Gender Equality’s Jurgita PečiĆ«rienė told EURACTIV.

      “The financial insecurity that often prohibits domestic violence victims from leaving abusers can also worsen in the aftermath of a crisis,” PečiĆ«rienė, who specialises in gender-based research, said.

      She added that there is a worrying deficit of data in the EU with regards to information sharing in the context of home-based violence amid national crises.

      “A lack of data in Europe prevents countries from learning from each other to ensure police and other support services can adapt to changing patterns of domestic violence in times of crisis,” she said.

      China & the US

      The measures imposed by the Chinese government in response to the COVID-19 outbreak for citizens to self-isolate for 14 days led to a surge in the recorded instances of domestic violence, according to reports from activists working in the country, as well as employees as women’s shelters.

      Meanwhile stateside, a statement released by the US National Domestic Abuse Hotline over the weekend noted that domestic violence abusers may seek to capitalise on the forced measures for domestic violence sufferers to isolate themselves.

      “Abuse is about power and control. When survivors are forced to stay in the home or in close proximity to their abuser more frequently, an abuser can use any tool to exert control over their victim, including a national health concern such as COVID-19,” the statement read.

      “In a time where companies may be encouraging that their employees work remotely, and the CDC is encouraging “social distancing,” an abuser may take advantage of an already stressful situation to gain more control.”

      ▻https://www.euractiv.com/section/coronavirus/news/covid-19-isolation-could-create-fertile-ground-for-domestic-violence

      signalé par @isskein

    • Je partage ici les pensĂ©es d’une amie. Je ne sais pas si elle veut que son nom soit dĂ©voilĂ©, je laisse donc son tĂ©moignage (que j’ai reçu par email, le 18.03.2020) de maniĂšre anonyme, car elle pose des pensĂ©es qui sont trĂšs importantes Ă  mes yeux et que ça vaut la peine qu’elles soient partagĂ©es...

      Voici son message :

      J’avais aussi dans ma liste « consĂ©quences dramatiques du confinement » : la hausse des IVG, IST, dĂ©pressions, pĂ©tages de plombs des plus isolĂ©.es, des santĂ©s mentales fragiles, etc... mouarf.

      En fait, en gros, pour moi, la question principale est : si on pense que le confinement est la seule maniĂšre de combattre la pandĂ©mie, alors il faut le faire de façon responsable, c’est Ă  dire en mettant en place des mesures CONCRETES pour Ă©viter la crĂ©ation de consĂ©quences graves en parallĂšle... parce que sinon, pour moi ça donne une situation paradoxale : on sauve effectivement des vies d’un cĂŽtĂ©, et d’un autre, on envoie d’autres Ă  des situations de souffrance extrĂȘmes et aussi Ă  la mort... comment on tient les comptes alors ? Combien seront « sauvĂ©.es », pendant que d’autres mourront d’autre chose que du coronavirus ?

      Annoncer un confinement :
      – sans garantir de revenu minimum pour un tas de professions / gens (notamment les gens comme moi qui ne sont pas salariĂ©.e mais intermittent.es du spectacle, ou artisans, etc...)
      – sans garantir une protection des personnes (enfants y compris !) victimes de violences
      – sans garantir une prĂ©vention / un suivi des rĂ©ductions des risques...
      – sans regarder en face qu’on va « sauver » des milliers de vies d’un cĂŽtĂ© oui, mais envoyer des milliers de gens vers des souffrances extrĂȘmes , Ă  aussi Ă  la mort d’un autre cĂŽtĂ© ...

      ça me semble étrange et irresponsable.

      J’en parle trĂšs peu autour de moi, parce que c’est un sujet brĂ»lant, je sens qu’il y a comme une sorte de consensus hyper gĂ©nĂ©ral (comme aprĂšs les attentats de Charlie)... et ça semble difficile d’émettre une opinion un peu critique...

      En vrai, j’applique les « gestes barriĂšres » et les consignes de sĂ©curitĂ©, parce que je suis pas dĂ©bile, XXX et moi on fait au mieux pour nous et pour les autres, et on a je crois un sens aĂŻgue de la solidaritĂ©...

      et c’est justement parce que je me sens solidaire que j’ai aussi conscience que c’est pas une bonne idĂ©e pour des tonnes de gens, pour une tonne de situations sociales, ce confinement.
      Donc, prenons en compte tous les aspects de cette situation de pandĂ©mie : les donnĂ©es sanitaires ne sont pas les seules Ă  prendre en compte il me semble. Il faut les croiser avec les donnĂ©es sociologiques, sociales, psychologiques. Nan ?

      Et puis, aussi, je trouve ça un peu « gros » quand Macron, dans son allocution guerriĂšre d’hier soir, culpabilise les « inconscient.es » qui se baladent dans les parcs un dimanche aprĂšs-midi dans un contexte de pandĂ©mie, alors qu’ils maintiennent les Ă©lections municipales, ou que bon nombre d’entreprises/banques/institutions ne sont pas obligĂ©es de fermer. Pourquoi ma voisine continue Ă  aller bosser dans son usine de production d’objets inutiles, voir nuisibles Ă  la planĂšte et Ă  la sociĂ©tĂ© alors que je ne peux pas aller faire courir mes gosses dans le parc en bas de chez moi ???
      Il faudrait peut ĂȘtre tenir une ligne claire et cohĂ©rente non ?

    • For some people, social distancing means being trapped indoors with an abuser

      As more cities go under lockdown, activists are worried that attempts to curb coronavirus will inadvertently lead to an increase in domestic violence.

      Coronavirus is fuelling domestic violence

      Home is supposed to be the safest place any of us could be right now. However, for people experiencing domestic violence, social distancing means being trapped inside with an abuser. As more cities go under lockdown, activists are worried that attempts to curb the coronavirus will inadvertently lead to an increase in domestic violence.

      Domestic violence is already a deadly epidemic. One in three women around the world experience physical or sexual violence, mostly from an intimate partner, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). As the WHO notes: “This makes it the most widespread, but among the least reported human rights abuses.” Gender-based violence tends to increase during humanitarian emergencies and conflicts; “women’s bodies too often become battlefields”.
      Coronavirus: the week explained - sign up for our email newsletter
      Read more

      Reports from China suggest the coronavirus has already caused a significant spike in domestic violence. Local police stations saw a threefold increase in cases reported in February compared with the previous year, according to Wan Fei, the founder of an anti-domestic violence not-forprofit. “According to our statistics, 90% of the causes of violence are related to the Covid-19 epidemic,” Wan told Sixth Tone, an English-language magazine based in China.

      A similar story is playing out in America. A domestic violence hotline in Portland, Oregon, says calls doubled last week. And the national domestic violence hotline is hearing from a growing number of callers whose abusers are using Covid-19 to further control and isolate them. “Perpetrators are threatening to throw their victims out on the street so they get sick,” the hotline’s CEO told Time. “We’ve heard of some withholding financial resources or medical assistance.”

      With all attention focused on curbing a public health crisis, the problem of private violence risks being overlooked or deprioritized by authorities. In the UK, for example, schools are now closed to everyone except for the children of key workers performing essential services. Domestic violence professionals have been left off this list; apparently preventing abuse at home isn’t an essential service. Dawn Butler, Labour’s women and equalities spokeswoman, has asked the prime minister to “urgently reconsider” this classification and consider implementing emergency funding to help people in danger escape domestic abuse during the crisis. “[T]wo women are killed every week by a partner or former partner,” Butler tweeted. “If the Govt fails to prepare and plan more people will die.”

      Now more than ever we need to look out for the most vulnerable in our society; activists are calling on neighbors to be extra aware and vigilant of possible cases of domestic violence. Retreating into our homes doesn’t mean cutting ourselves off from our communities. We’re all in this together.
      Harvey Weinstein begins his 23-year sentence

      The convicted rapist was transferred to a maximum-security prison in New York on Wednesday. New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, recently announced that New York will produce its own hand sanitizer, manufactured by prison inmates making as little as $0.16 an hour – so it’s possible that Weinstein might end up making state sanitizer.
      Remembering the Latina who invented hand sanitizer

      Did you know hand sanitizer was invented by a woman? In 1966 a student nurse named Lupe Hernandez realized that alcohol in gel form could be used to wash hands when there was no access to soap and water. Hernandez, who was based in California, quickly called an inventions hotline to patent the idea.
      Four men executed over Delhi rape and murder

      In 2012 a 23-year-old medical student was brutally gang-raped and murdered in a Delhi bus; a crime which shook the world and sparked unprecedented protests in India. On Friday four of the men convicted of the crime were hanged, the first time in five years capital punishment has been used in the country. One family may have got closure but the situation for Indian women remains bleak. “[I]n India, where a rape of a woman is reported every 16 minutes, this is no time for celebration,” argues a CNN op-ed. Since the attack India has introduced tougher sexual assault laws but rapes have continued to go up; in 2018, the last year for which there are statistics, they were significantly higher than in 2012.
      New Zealand passes law to decriminalize abortion

      “For over 40 years, abortion has been the only medical procedure considered a crime in New Zealand,” the country’s justice minister said in a statement. “But from now abortions will be rightly treated as a health issue.”
      Catherine Hamlin, trailblazing doctor, dies at 96

      The Australian gynecologist devoted much of her life to treating Ethiopian women with obstetric fistula – an injury sustained in childbirth that leaves women incontinent and often ostracized by their community.
      Marvel unveils its first black non-binary superhero: Snowflake

      Snowflake has a twin brother called Safespace. The reaction to these names has been less that ecstatic.
      The average woman gets mansplained to 312 times a year

      That’s according to a study of 2,000 employed women commissioned by a financial app called Self. I’m sure a helpful man somewhere will be happy to tell you exactly what is wrong with this study.
      The week in penguinarchy

      The best thing by far on the internet this week was a video of a penguin called Wellington marching around Chicago’s deserted aquarium and marveling at the fish. Coronavirus has caused most of us to go under lockdown, but at least Wellington got a nice day out.

      ▻https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/21/coronavirus-domestic-violence-week-in-patriarchy?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

    • Le confinement cause une hausse des violences familiales, dĂ©plore la FCPE

      MarlÚne Schiappa avait alerté sur ce risque en période de confinement lié au coronavirus. La FCPE confirme ses craintes.

      C’était une des consĂ©quences malheureusement prĂ©vues par le gouvernement en temps de confinement face au coronavirus. Le secrĂ©taire d’État Ă  l’égalitĂ© entre les hommes et les femmes MarlĂšne Schiappa avait alertĂ© dĂšs le 16 mars et l’instauration de ces mesures exceptionnelles sur le fait qu’elles pouvaient “hĂ©las gĂ©nĂ©rer un terreau propice aux violences conjugales”.

      La FCPE confirme ses craintes, ce dimanche 22 mars. InvitĂ© d’Europe1, Rodrigo Arenas, co-prĂ©sident de la principale fĂ©dĂ©ration de parents d’élĂšves, a expliquĂ© avoir une recrudescence d’appels liĂ©s Ă  des situations de “violences familiales.”

      “Il y a deux choses qui rendent dingues les gens : la chaleur et la promiscuitĂ©. On n’a pas la chaleur, mais on a la promiscuitĂ©. On a Ă©normĂ©ment de remontĂ©es de violences conjugales et les enfants qui sont au bout de la chaĂźne s’en prennent plein la figure”, a-t-il indiquĂ© Ă  la radio comme vous pouvez l’entendre ci-dessous.

      ProblĂšme supplĂ©mentaire, contrairement Ă  ce que promettait MarlĂšne Schiappa au dĂ©but du confinement, le numĂ©ro d’information dĂ©diĂ© aux violences conjugales 3919 ne rĂ©pond plus. Ou du moins plus beaucoup.

      Comme L’Obs, ou BFMTV vendredi, Le HuffPost a tentĂ© de contacter le service ce samedi 22 mars sans succĂšs. Un message prĂ©-enregistrĂ© nous invite Ă  renouveler notre appel plus tard.

      Joint par RTL samedi, le cabinet de MarlĂšne Schiappa prĂ©cise que le numĂ©ro “fonctionne toujours” mais que la migration -provoquĂ©e par le tĂ©lĂ©travail- de la plateforme prend du temps et entraĂźne des bugs. “Au plus tard lundi tout sera fonctionnel”, promet l’entourage de la ministre.

      ▻https://www.huffingtonpost.fr/entry/confinement-la-fcpe-deplore-une-hausse-des-violences-familiales_fr_5e

    • Coronavirus Covid-19 : violences conjugales et femmes en danger, comment les aider en pĂ©riode de confinement ?

      MarlĂšne Schiappa et son homologue italienne Elena Bonetti ont annoncĂ© « agir ensemble » pour protĂ©ger les femmes contre les violences sexistes et sexuelles en cette pĂ©riode de confinement. Mais en application, comment ça se passe ?

      ▻https://france3-regions.francetvinfo.fr/bourgogne-franche-comte/cote-d-or/dijon/coronavirus-covid-19-violences-conjugales-femmes-danger

    • Le confinement va augmenter les #violences_intra-familiales et en particulier les #violences_conjugales, c’est dĂ©jĂ  ce qu’a rĂ©vĂ©lĂ© l’expĂ©rience du #Wuhan (▻https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-51705199). LĂ  encore, ces violences seront encore moins prises en charge qu’avant puisque le 3919 ne fonctionne plus pendant cette crise contrairement Ă  ce qu’avait annoncĂ© MarlĂšne Schiappa (▻https://www.nouvelobs.com/droits-des-femmes/20200319.OBS26314/le-39-19-ne-repond-plus.html). Au sixiĂšme jour du confinement, cette tendance est d’ailleurs aussi relatĂ©e par la FCPE ce dimanche (▻https://www.europe1.fr/societe/face-au-confinement-on-a-enormement-de-remontees-de-violences-conjugales-rap).

      â–șhttps://npa2009.org/idees/societe/le-confinement-la-destruction-du-lien-social-et-ses-consequences

    • Concernant les violences conjugales et familiales, les procĂšs en cours d’assises, que ce soient viols ou « fĂ©minicides », sont reportĂ©s. Ce qui constitue une non-rĂ©ponse Ă  la situation de fait. Mais certains tribunaux maintiennent des permanences au civil oĂč des Juges aux Affaires familiales (JAF) peuvent dĂ©cider d’éloigner par exemple un mari violent. Il appartient aux magistrats d’apprĂ©cier l’urgence des situations.

      â–șhttps://www.franceculture.fr/droit-justice/denis-salas-la-justice-se-trouve-confrontee-a-un-phenomene-totalement-

    • For Abused Women, a Pandemic Lockdown Holds Dangers of Its Own

      As millions across the U.S. stay home to help flatten the curve, domestic violence organizations and support systems are scrambling to adapt to the rapidly shifting landscape.

      Early last week, as the novel coronavirus exploded from state to state, a woman called the National Domestic Violence Hotline in a crisis: Her partner had tried to strangle her and she needed medical help, but feared going to the hospital because of the virus.

      Another woman was being forced to choose between work and home. “He threatened to throw me out if I didn’t work from home,” she said. “He said if I started coughing, he was throwing me out in the street and that I could die alone in a hospital room.”

      In another call, a girl — aged between 13 and 15 (specific identifiers have been removed to protect the callers) — said that her mother’s partner had just abused her mother, then gone on to abuse the girl herself. But with schools shut, turning to a teacher or a counselor for help was not an option.

      These instances, gleaned from the hotline’s first responders, highlight two important facets of things to come during the coronavirus crisis. First, as lawmakers across the country order lockdowns to slow the spread of the virus, the lives of people stuck in physically or emotionally abusive relationships have — and will — become harder, which has already been seen in the pandemic hotspots of China and Italy.

      Second, the virus raises the stakes for domestic violence services across the country as they scramble to adapt to a patchwork of new government policies and restrictions that shift day by day and vary from state to state.

      “We know that any time an abusive partner may be feeling a loss of power and control — and everybody’s feeling a loss of power and control right now — it could greatly impact how victims and survivors are being treated in their homes,” said Katie Ray-Jones, chief executive of the hotline.

      She expects to see the intensity and frequency of abuse escalate, even if the number of individual cases doesn’t — a pattern that experts witnessed during the economic downturn of 2008 and immediately after 9/11, Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Katrina.

      In the U.S., more than one in three women has experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner (defined as current or former spouses or partners) in their lifetime, according to a 2010 survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And in recent years, the number of domestic violence cases (which includes assault by intimate partners and family members) has spiked, making up more than half of all violent crimes in the U.S. in 2018, according to the Justice Bureau.

      Spending days, weeks or even months in the presence of an abusive partner takes an immense emotional toll too, said Teresa Burns, who manages the Casa de Esperanza shelter in St. Paul, Minn. And that’s exactly the conditions that the coronavirus lockdown has set up.

      Many of Burns’s clients are undocumented individuals whose immigration status can become a means of control by abusive partners. It’s not uncommon for abusers to claim that survivors will be deported if they seek help.

      She fears these types of threats will escalate during the coronavirus crisis, and with information about the government’s response changing nearly by the hour, survivors may not know who or what to believe.

      Those who may have felt safe once their partner left for work or their children were at school now live without any window of relief as businesses and schools shutter. “When the mind is constantly in fight, flight, freeze [mode] because of perpetual fear, that can have a lasting impact on a person’s mental health,” Burns said.

      Shelters across the country are adapting as best they can while trying to keep pace with constantly changing virus regulations, including implementing social distancing practices on site, taking temperatures of newcomers and regularly cleaning and disinfecting common spaces.

      In New York, now considered the epicenter of the virus in the U.S., shelters are categorized as essential services and are encouraged to keep functioning as normally as possible, even though many are at or almost at capacity, said Kelli Owens, executive director of the state’s Prevention of Domestic Violence office.

      But several organizations have started to cut back on certain services and may have to turn away newcomers soon to avoid overcrowding at shelters. Drop-in counseling centers are shut down and in-person support groups are suspended.

      One survivor, Maggie, 25, who spoke to The Times via Twitter, and is working to heal from an abusive relationship she left five years ago, said that in recent weeks, her weekly therapy appointment moved online and her support group was canceled altogether, which has made it even more difficult for her to cope with her increased isolation. As a result, she’s fallen back into unhealthy coping mechanisms, like drinking and smoking, she said.

      “I imagine many survivors, even if they are safe in their home, are experiencing long hours of sitting alone with traumatic thoughts and nightmares due to increased anxiety,” Maggie said.

      Advocates, who are often the first responders in cases of domestic violence, are fielding questions remotely, preparing those who can’t flee for worst case situations, known as safety planning.

      “We’re having really difficult conversations, running through horrific scenarios,” Ray-Jones said.

      “What that could mean is, OK, if an argument breaks out, where is the safest place in your house? Keep arguments out of the kitchen, out of the bathroom, which can be really dangerous spaces. If you need to go sleep in your car, is that a possibility?”

      Organizations most often take these kinds of questions over the phone, but being in such proximity with an abuser can turn the simple act of a phone call into such a dangerous gamble that many are preparing for fewer calls on their hotline and more questions via their text and online chat services that are available around the clock.

      Meanwhile, with courts closing across the country and advocates, who would typically help survivors navigate the judicial system, working remotely, yet another avenue of support for people experiencing abuse is further complicated, said Susan Pearlstein, the co-supervisor of the Family Law Unit of Philadelphia Legal Assistance.

      Still, the public should know that obtaining a legal protection order is considered an essential service by most jurisdictions and “many courts are trying to have access open for domestic violence survivors and to allow order petitions of abuse or restraining orders to be filed,” either over the phone or electronically, Pearlstein said.

      “This is a really heartbreaking time,” said Ray-Jones, speaking to the overall heightened anxiety during this uncertain period.

      Resources for victims and survivors:

      Anti-Violence Project offers a 24-hour English/Spanish hotline for L.G.B.T.Q.+ experiencing abuse or hate-based violence: call 212-714-1141

      The National Domestic Violence Hotline is available around the clock and in more than 200 languages: call 1-800-799-SAFE or chat with their advocates here or text LOVEIS to 22522.

      New York State Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline is available in multiple languages: call 1-800-942-6906 for English. For deaf or hard of hearing: 711

      For immediate dangers, call 911.

      ▻https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/24/us/coronavirus-lockdown-domestic-violence.html

    • Warning over rise in UK domestic abuse cases linked to coronavirus

      Manchester deputy mayor says police beginning to classify incidents connected to virus.

      There has been a rise in domestic abuse incidents directly related to the coronavirus outbreak, according to a police leader.

      Beverley Hughes, Greater Manchester’s deputy mayor for policing and crime, said there had been reports of abuse linked to the lockdown, and said authorities were preparing for serious incidents.

      After a meeting of the region’s Covid-19 emergency committee, Lady Hughes said: “I think we are beginning to see a rise in domestic abuse incidents. We anticipated this might happen in the very stressful circumstances for many families.”
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      Charities and police forces across the country have been warning of a potential rise in cases of domestic violence. In China there was a threefold increase in cases reported to police stations in February compared with the previous year.

      The justice secretary, Robert Buckland, told the Commons justice committee this week that there may be more cases of domestic abuse, online crime and fraud during the lockdown.

      Hughes later said the overall level of domestic abuse cases was as expected, but officers had begun to classify incidents believed to have a connection to the virus.

      She said families were being asked to stay at home and many had significantly less money as a result of the restrictions.

      Hughes said: “The potential for tension to arise in the home as a result of what we are asking people to cope with, in order to suppress the virus, is going to increase and therefore we would be right to think this might display itself in an increase in the number of domestic incidents we are called to.

      “We are preparing for that. Some of those most serious incidents will be challenging to deal with, particularly if the victim needs to be moved to a refuge, but the police specialise in these kind of cases and the local partners, local authorities, they’re working together really closely to prepare for that.”

      Avon and Somerset police reported a 20.9% increase in domestic abuse incidents in the last two weeks, from 718 to 868. Police in Cumbria have asked postal workers and delivery drivers to look out for signs of abuse.

      DCI Dan St Quintin, of Cumbria police, said: “In the coming weeks and months we ask for everyone to look out for each other as much as possible. We would also like to extend this plea to those such as postal workers, delivery drivers, food delivery companies and carers who will still be visiting houses, to keep an eye out for any signs of abuse and to report any concerns to us.”

      Quintin said the Bright Sky app, which can be disguised for people worried about partners checking their phones, provided support and information for victims.

      The National Centre for Domestic Violence said it fully supported the plea and warned of “huge dangers lurking for victims”..

      Its chief executive, Mark Groves, said: “While the whole country grapples with the consequences of Covid-19, there are huge dangers lurking for victims of domestic abuse and violence. We fully support Cumbria police’s plea to key workers to help the police investigate suspicions or concerns surrounding victims or perpetrators.”

      The Thames Valley chief constable, John Campbell, said his force expected to see a rise in the number of domestic abuse calls He said domestic violence and fraud would become a priority for his force as “criminals decide to change their behaviours’ to take advantage of coronavirus”.

      “We are seeing and monitoring very closely the issues around domestic abuse, we anticipate that it might increase and we will deal with that robustly in a way that you would expect us to,” Campbell said.

      Shanika Varga, a solicitor at Stowe Family Law, who specialises in domestic abuse cases, said: “Being stuck in a house together for two weeks or longer means the risk of a situation becoming violent is much higher. Lots of people – whether they realise it or not – are in abusive relationships, and abusers will typically manipulate any situation to take advantage of their perceived position of power.”

      Varga urged victims to start thinking of a contingency plan for escaping their abusers. “Knowing your options and making sure people are informed and fully prepared to take action if need be is vital. Don’t forget that help is out there,” she said.

      ▻https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/mar/26/warning-over-rise-in-uk-domestic-abuse-cases-linked-to-coronavirus?CMP=

    • Coronavirus en #Nouvelle-Aquitaine : Les violences intrafamiliales en forte hausse avec le confinement

      Si la dĂ©linquance est en baisse, dans la rĂ©gion, les forces de l’ordre multiplient les interventions dans les foyers depuis une semaine.

      Avec le confinement, les violences intrafamiliales explosent selon les policiers et gendarmes en Nouvelle-Aquitaine. Le phénomÚne est national.
      Les disputes sur fond d’alcool se multiplient alors que les victimes se retrouvent prises au piùge dans les foyers.
      L’Etat maintient ses services face Ă  cette recrudescence. Les forces de l’ordre elles n’hĂ©sitent pas Ă  reprendre contact avec les victimes aprĂšs leurs interventions.

      C’était un scĂ©nario prĂ©visible et malheureusement, il se vĂ©rifie un peu plus chaque jour. Les violences conjugales et intrafamiliales augmentent voire explosent depuis le dĂ©but du confinement en France. Les policiers et gendarmes de la Gironde sont Ă  l’unisson sur le sujet : « Si la dĂ©linquance (vol, cambriolage, trafic
) est en forte baisse, expliquent leurs responsables dĂ©partementaux, les interventions pour des violences familiales se multiplient mĂȘme si elles ne dĂ©clenchent pas forcĂ©ment Ă  chaque fois des procĂ©dures. » Ce mercredi soir, leurs collĂšgues du PĂ©rigord ont par exemple interpellĂ© un trentenaire qui menaçait sa famille avec un fusil et tentait de mettre le feu Ă  la maison.

      DĂšs le 18 mars, les recours Ă  police secours dans le dĂ©partement Ă©taient dĂ©jĂ  en forte hausse avec 1.200 appels ce jour-lĂ  contre 600 habituellement. Une semaine plus tard, le nombre de demandes sur la plateforme arretonslesviolences.gouv.fr aurait augmentĂ© de 40 % selon les policiers girondins. En effet comme le soulignait le gouvernement en dĂ©but de semaine, « le contexte particulier du confinement constitue malheureusement un terreau favorable aux violences » en raison de « la promiscuitĂ©, des tensions et de l’anxiĂ©tĂ© » qu’il entraĂźne.

      Encore plus difficile de se signaler pour les victimes

      Les gendarmes soulignent des interventions toujours plus nombreuses pour « des disputes familiales sur fond d’alcool et souvent la nuit. » A ce sujet, la rĂ©ponse de Fabienne Buccio, la prĂ©fĂšte de Gironde et de Nouvelle-Aquitaine, est claire : il n’y aura pas d’interdiction de ventes d’alcool « Ă  ce stade » comme a pu tenter de le faire son homologue dans l’Aisne. La reprĂ©sentante de l’Etat prĂ©fĂšre soulever un problĂšme beaucoup plus important :

      « Je ne veux pas stigmatiser qui que ce soit mais en ce moment les hommes sont bien plus prĂ©sents au domicile familial que d’habitude avec le confinement et c’est donc encore plus difficile pour les victimes de se signaler auprĂšs des autoritĂ©s. »

      Une situation face Ă  laquelle, la plupart des associations se disent « dĂ©semparĂ©es » Ă  l’image de l’Union nationale des familles de fĂ©minicides. « ĂŠtre confinĂ©, c’est dĂ©jĂ  compliquĂ© pour des gens qui s’entendent bien. Alors, pour les victimes de violences conjugales, elles vont vivre un vĂ©ritable calvaire », rappelait il y a quelques jours sa prĂ©sidente Sandrine Bouchait. Sans oublier, les enfants, eux aussi en premiĂšre ligne face Ă  la violence.

      Les forces de l’ordre n’hĂ©sitent pas Ă  rappeler aprĂšs leurs interventions

      Alors comment faire pour limiter au maximum les violences intrafamiliales ? Il y a les moyens connus avec les services de police ou de gendarmerie (17 ou 112), les pompiers (18 ou 112) ou le Samu (15) qui restent mobilisĂ©s pour les situations d’urgence. MarlĂšne Schiappa, secrĂ©taire d’État chargĂ©e de l’ÉgalitĂ© entre les femmes et les hommes et de la lutte contre les discriminations, a annoncĂ© que les numĂ©ros d’écoute, les plateformes gouvernementales, l’accompagnement dans des hĂ©bergements d’urgence et les procĂšs au pĂ©nal contre les agresseurs seraient maintenus. Le 3919 est notamment de nouveau opĂ©rationnel depuis lundi.

      Les forces de l’ordre sont Ă©galement mobilisĂ©es sur le terrain : « AprĂšs certaines interventions, nous n’hĂ©sitons pas Ă  rappeler les personnes et Ă  reprendre contact avec elles. Nous sommes vraiment trĂšs attentifs Ă  ce phĂ©nomĂšne », explique la gendarmerie de la Gironde.

      De son cĂŽtĂ©, le secrĂ©taire d’Etat auprĂšs du ministre des SolidaritĂ©s et de la santĂ© en charge de l’enfance Adrien Taquet « appelle Ă  nouveau chacun Ă  redoubler de vigilance pendant cette pĂ©riode, et Ă  composer le 119 si l’on est tĂ©moin, mĂȘme auditif, mĂȘme dans le doute, de violence commise sur un enfant, quelle que soit sa nature. » Le gouvernement va Ă©galement rĂ©activer une campagne de sensibilisation Ă  la question des violences faites aux enfants cette semaine.

      ▻https://www.20minutes.fr/societe/2748663-20200326-video-coronavirus-nouvelle-aquitaine-violences-intrafamil

    • Coronavirus et confinement : femmes et #enfants en danger

      Plus d’une centaine de sĂ©natrices et de sĂ©nateurs demande au gouvernement de protĂ©ger les familles victimes de violence que le confinement expose Ă  des dangers encore plus graves.

      Sans nier la gravitĂ© de la crise sanitaire et la nĂ©cessitĂ© absolue du confinement, nous ne devons pas occulter les risques auxquels sont exposĂ©s les femmes et les enfants dans les foyers violents. Le confinement peut ĂȘtre un piĂšge terrible quand il enferme une famille dans la terreur permanente des insultes, des cris et des coups. En cette pĂ©riode oĂč nous dĂ©ployons une immense Ă©nergie pour essayer de dominer nos frustrations et notre angoisse, il faut imaginer ce que peut ĂȘtre le quotidien des victimes de violences, a fortiori quand le drame se joue dans un logement exigu : l’#enfer.

      En annonçant la mise en place d’un plan de continuitĂ© pour protĂ©ger les victimes de violences conjugales, la secrĂ©taire d’Etat chargĂ©e de l’EgalitĂ© entre les femmes et les hommes et de la lutte contre la discrimination MarlĂšne Schiappa a anticipĂ© ce danger. Le maintien du numĂ©ro d’appel 3919 est une excellente initiative et il faut remercier les Ă©coutants qui continuent d’exercer cette mission dans des conditions beaucoup plus complexes.

      Face à l’isolement de la victime

      De nombreuses questions persistent cependant : comment fuir un conjoint violent – surtout avec des enfants – quand les parents et amis susceptibles d’offrir un refuge sont loin, quand les transports sont alĂ©atoires et quand les hĂ©bergements d’urgence, structurellement dĂ©bordĂ©s, peuvent difficilement garantir des conditions de sĂ©curitĂ© correctes face au virus ? Quelles mesures prendre pour protĂ©ger les victimes Ă©tablies habituellement hors de France ? Comment les victimes confinĂ©es chez elles peuvent-elles joindre le 3919 ou la plateforme en ligne dĂ©diĂ©e aux victimes de violences, alors que l’on sait que le premier signe de violences conjugales est l’isolement de la victime, privĂ©e de tout moyen de communication autonome par son compagnon violent qui lui a souvent confisquĂ© son tĂ©lĂ©phone et s’acharne Ă  traquer ses mails ?
      Si l’accompagnement des victimes peut toujours ĂȘtre assurĂ© par les services de police et si le dĂ©pĂŽt de plainte demeure possible, comment envisager qu’une victime puisse, sans courir un danger accru, porter plainte contre un conjoint violent avec lequel elle est condamnĂ©e Ă  cohabiter Ă  cause du confinement ? Est-il encore possible, compte tenu de l’état de nos hĂŽpitaux, d’y faire Ă©tablir des constats mĂ©dicaux de coups et violences sexuelles ?

      Enfin, ne peut-on craindre que, malgrĂ© le renforcement rĂ©cent, dans le sillage du Grenelle de lutte contre les violences conjugales, des efforts de formation et de sensibilisation des personnels de police et de gendarmerie, ceux-ci aient le rĂ©flexe de minimiser ces violences et de les considĂ©rer comme un effet comprĂ©hensible, voire excusable, du stress liĂ© au confinement ? Chaque jour, le dĂ©compte glaçant des victimes du coronavirus a remplacĂ© celui des fĂ©minicides qui avait marquĂ© l’annĂ©e 2019. L’épidĂ©mie a fait disparaĂźtre les violences conjugales et intrafamiliales de l’actualitĂ© mais pas de la rĂ©alitĂ©.
      Tous concernés

      Nous, sĂ©natrices et sĂ©nateurs, demandons solennellement au gouvernement de continuer Ă  assurer la protection, en cette pĂ©riode de crise sanitaire majeure, des femmes et des enfants victimes de violences, que l’exigence de confinement expose Ă  des dangers encore plus graves. MalgrĂ© l’épreuve exceptionnelle que traverse notre pays, les femmes et les enfants qui subissent des violences ne doivent en aucun cas ĂȘtre sacrifiĂ©s.

      Le gouvernement peut compter sur les collectivitĂ©s territoriales – les dĂ©partements comme les communes – dĂ©jĂ  trĂšs impliquĂ©es en temps normal dans les missions d’aide aux personnes vulnĂ©rables, de protection de l’enfance et de lutte contre les violences, pour apporter les solutions adaptĂ©es Ă  chaque territoire pendant cette pĂ©riode exceptionnelle. La question des moyens allouĂ©s Ă  ces missions et Ă  leurs acteurs reste d’actualitĂ©.

      Engageons-nous, ensemble, pour que le nombre de ces victimes n’alourdisse pas le bilan, d’ores et dĂ©jĂ  effroyable, de la crise sanitaire. Violences intrafamiliales : citoyens, voisins, amis, parents, collĂšgues, tous concernĂ©s, tous acteurs, tous mobilisĂ©s, tous vigilants. C’est notre responsabilitĂ© collective.

      ▻https://www.liberation.fr/debats/2020/03/28/coronavirus-et-confinement-femmes-et-enfants-en-danger_1783279

    • Violences conjugales : Schiappa annonce des « points contacts Ă©phĂ©mĂšres » dans les centres commerciaux

      ▻https://www.lefigaro.fr/flash-actu/violences-conjugales-schiappa-annonce-des-points-contacts-ephemeres-dans-le

      La secrĂ©taire d’État Ă  l’ÉgalitĂ© femmes-hommes, MarlĂšne Schiappa, a annoncĂ© samedi l’installation de « points d’accompagnement Ă©phĂ©mĂšres » dans des centres commerciaux pour accueillir des femmes victimes de violences en temps de confinement oĂč les dĂ©placements sont limitĂ©s. « Comme il est plus difficile de se dĂ©placer, nous faisons en sorte que les dispositifs d’accompagnement aillent aux femmes », explique Mme Schiappa dans un entretien au Parisien.

      CrĂ©Ă©s « en partenariat avec des associations locales, les services de l’État et Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, gestionnaire de centres commerciaux », ces « points d’accompagnement Ă©phĂ©mĂšres » seront installĂ©s dans des locaux « permettant la confidentialitĂ© mais assez vastes pour accueillir les femmes en respectant les mesures barriĂšres », dĂ©taille-t-elle.

      La secrĂ©taire d’État cite « dans un premier temps » pour la rĂ©gion parisienne So Ouest Ă  Levallois-Perret, les 4 Temps Ă  la DĂ©fense, CarrĂ© SĂ©nart Ă  Lieusaint, le Forum des Halles Ă  Paris, ou les Ulis, et, dans le Nord, V2 Ă  Valenciennes. « Dans un deuxiĂšme temps, Dijon, Rennes, Lyon... lĂ  oĂč il y a un hypermarchĂ© ouvert », ajoute-t-elle, affirmant viser « une vingtaine de points dans les prochaines semaines ». « En allant faire les courses, ces femmes trouveront une oreille attentive et un accĂšs Ă  leurs droits d’une maniĂšre innovante et efficace », estime-t-elle.
      Fonds spécial et dépÎt de plainte

      ParallĂšlement, Mme Schiappa annonce un « fonds spĂ©cial financĂ© par l’État d’un million d’euros pour aider les associations de terrain Ă  s’adapter Ă  la pĂ©riode ». Elle promet Ă©galement de financer « jusqu’à 20.000 nuitĂ©es d’hĂŽtel pour que les femmes puissent fuir l’homme violent ».

      InterrogĂ©e sur l’absence de « motif ’’dĂ©pĂŽt de plainte’’ », dans l’attestation de sortie obligatoire en pĂ©riode de confinement, la secrĂ©taire d’État a rĂ©pondu que « les juridictions pour les violences conjugales » avaient Ă©tĂ© laissĂ©es ouvertes.
      À lire aussi : "Une petite augmentation mais rien de significatif" : les violences conjugales Ă  l’heure du confinement

      Elle a avancĂ© le chiffre de « deux » meurtres de femmes par leur conjoint ou ex-conjoint depuis le dĂ©but du confinement, le 17 mars. « Le confinement est une Ă©preuve collective qui vient percuter l’histoire familiale et personnelle de chaque personne, la situation peut dĂ©gĂ©nĂ©rer Ă  tout moment quand on vit avec une personne violente », rappelle-t-elle, inquiĂšte que « les femmes se disent qu’elles doivent subir pendant le confinement ». « Non ! Les dispositifs de l’Etat ne sont pas mis sur pause, ils sont mĂȘme renforcĂ©s », assure-t-elle.

      À VOIR AUSSI - Violences conjugales et confinement : un dispositif d’alerte mis en place dans les pharmacies

      EspĂ©rons que les flics n’en profite pas pour verbaliser les femmes dans ces point Ă©phĂ©mĂšres.

    • Coronavirus. Les associations craignent une augmentation des violences conjugales
      À Nantes, avec les mesures de confinement, l’association SolidaritĂ©s Femmes double ses Ă©coutantes au tĂ©lĂ©phone. Elle craint une augmentation des violences conjugales.
      Depuis mardi 18 mars, l’association SolidaritĂ© Femmes a renforcĂ© sa ligne d’écoute tĂ©lĂ©phonique, destinĂ©e aux femmes victimes de violences conjugales. La ligne est ouverte du lundi au vendredi, de 10 h Ă  17 h, au 02 40 12 12 40.

      ▻https://www.ouest-france.fr/pays-de-la-loire/loire-atlantique/coronavirus-les-associations-craignent-une-augmentation-des-violences-c

    • « En Belgique, plusieurs associations fĂ©ministes ont Ă©galement lancĂ© un message d’alerte Ă  ce sujet, comme l’association Femmes de Droit. L’asbl Vie FĂ©minine a adaptĂ© ses activitĂ©s : elle a renforcĂ© ses permanences juridiques et sociales et a reçu l’autorisation de la RĂ©gion Wallonne de les effectuer par tĂ©lĂ©phone, ce qui n’est pas le cas en temps normal oĂč il leur est demandĂ© de les organiser physiquement. »
      ▻https://www.rtbf.be/info/dossier/les-grenades/detail_coronavirus-le-risque-de-violences-conjugales-augmente-a-cause-du-confin

    • Les violences conjugales Ă  l’épreuve du confinement

      Depuis le dĂ©but de la pĂ©riode de confinement, les collectifs fĂ©ministes alertent sur les risques d’augmentation des violences conjugales. Les pouvoirs publics doivent prendre au sĂ©rieux une situation compliquĂ©e, comme celle oĂč l’on se retrouve enfermĂ©e pour plusieurs semaines avec un conjoint violent.

      Le foyer, dans lequel il s’agit de se rĂ©fugier pour se protĂ©ger de la pandĂ©mie, n’est pas synonyme de rĂ©confort et de sĂ©curitĂ© pour de nombreuses femmes en France. La violence conjugale, souvent physique, mais Ă©galement verbale, Ă©motionnelle ou Ă©conomique, pourrait se manifester plus fortement pendant la pĂ©riode de confinement. En Chine, les violences physiques au sein des couples ont augmentĂ© pendant l’épidĂ©mie du coronavirus. La France n’est pas Ă  l’abri de voir ses statistiques s’élever.
      Des femmes abandonnées

      Alors que le systĂšme d’aide aux victimes de violences conjugales ne fonctionne pas toujours correctement en pĂ©riode normale, le confinement et les bouleversements qui l’accompagnent n’arrangent pas les choses. Le numĂ©ro d’écoute national 3919 destinĂ© aux femmes victimes de violences et Ă  leur entourage ne fonctionne plus depuis l’annonce du confinement. Il rouvre avec des horaires rĂ©duits Ă  partir de ce lundi 23 mars 2020. Pour LĂ©onor GuĂ©noun, du collectif fĂ©ministe Nous toutes : « C’est trĂšs grave, et c’est vraiment un comble que ce numĂ©ro soit rĂ©duit, surtout en pĂ©riode de confinement, alors qu’il devrait ĂȘtre ouvert 24 heures sur 24. »

      Les centres d’hĂ©bergement ont du mal Ă  accueillir de nouvelles personnes. Nous Toutes « demande des places dans des hĂŽtels qui sont fermĂ©s ou peu occupĂ©s comme en Espagne » pour pallier ces foyers surchargĂ©s. L’absence de moyens spĂ©cifiques allouĂ©s empĂȘche la prise en charge rapide et efficace des femmes victimes de violences conjugales. Pour Mohamed Jemal, prĂ©sident de l’association Un ToĂźt pour elles, une association qui aide les femmes en grande prĂ©caritĂ© Ă  se trouver un logement, « des promesses faites par le gouvernement n’ont pas Ă©tĂ© tenues pour la mise Ă  disposition de chambres d’hĂŽtel et la mise Ă  l’abri des SDF ».

      Il regrette Ă©galement qu’il n’y ait pas eu de « consignes claires pour mettre Ă  l’abri des femmes en danger ». De plus, l’hĂ©bergement solidaire chez des particuliers ne fonctionne plus en raison du confinement. Les centres sociaux font face Ă  des problĂšmes sanitaires supplĂ©mentaires Ă  celui de l’épidĂ©mie. Les masques, les gants et le gel hydroalcoolique qui doivent parvenir aux associations sont rĂ©partis selon des schĂ©mas complexes, peu accessibles Ă  des petites structures, comme celle gĂ©rĂ©e par Mohamed Jemal.
      Un climat propice Ă  la violence

      Selon LĂ©onor GuĂ©noun, « trois risques principaux d’augmentation des violences » existent : dans des couples sans violence oĂč un conjoint commence Ă  ĂȘtre violent, dans un passage Ă  un cran supĂ©rieur -de la violence verbale Ă  la violence physique par exemple- et enfin « la tragĂ©die d’un fĂ©minicide ».

      L’avocate Isabelle Steyer, rĂ©fĂ©rence dans la dĂ©fense des victimes de violences conjugales, explique que le climat de surveillance constante se renforce Ă©tant donnĂ© que l’on peut vĂ©rifier les appels, les sorties, les occupations de chacun·e. Le confinement, selon elle, se vit comme une situation particuliĂšre car « on a jamais eu l’habitude de vivre tout le temps ensemble ». Être constamment ensemble peut dĂ©clencher des actes insoupçonnĂ©s parce que « la violence arrive Ă  un moment oĂč on ne s’y attend pas ».

      D’aprĂšs l’avocate, le risque de ne plus avoir de vie intime et de tout partager pour la femme est de ne plus pouvoir « appeler qui l’on veut et penser Ă  Ă©laborer le dĂ©part ». LĂ©onor GuĂ©noun explique que la « fuite du domicile » doit pouvoir rester une option possible pour les femmes victimes.
      Des actions rapides et de l’aide collective

      Pour remĂ©dier Ă  cette situation et prĂ©venir tout acte violent, Nous toutes met en place des campagnes de sensibilisation et diffuse des visuels « pour que les femmes sachent qu’elles peuvent fuir et ĂȘtre aidĂ©es« . Le collectif fĂ©ministe rappelle aussi les numĂ©ros Ă  contacter, en cas d’urgence la police par le 17 ou le 114 pour les SMS, ou le 08.00.05.95.95. qui peut aider les femmes victimes. L’avocate Isabelle Steyer encourage Ă©galement les femmes Ă  prĂ©venir et Ă  « utiliser des espaces que l’on avait pas l’habitude d’utiliser pour tĂ©lĂ©phoner ».

      Pour les personnes qui ne seraient pas confrontĂ©es Ă  de la violence conjugale, il faut rappeler Ă  son entourage que le confinement n’autorise pas Ă  ĂȘtre violent. Il convient Ă©galement prendre rĂ©guliĂšrement des nouvelles des personnes pouvant subir des situations violentes. Enfin, selon l’avocate, « le cĂŽte trĂšs positif est que tout les voisins sont lĂ  », ce qui facilite l’appel au secours et la demande d’aide rapide car « les relations sont beaucoup plus proches avec ce confinement ».

      ▻https://radioparleur.net/2020/03/24/violences-conjugales-epreuve-du-confinement

    • Sur la mesure donnant la possibilitĂ© de signaler des violences en pharmacie, j’ai eu une discussion avec une personne (une femme, je crois) qui trouvait la mesure cheap et ridicule mais les pharmacies ne sont pas que des commerces, ce sont aussi des lieux de soin, plus accessibles et qui offrent un meilleur accueil que les poulaillers, et l’Espagne fait ça depuis vingt ans avec un certain succĂšs.

    • Domestic abuse cases soar as lockdown takes its toll

      Some charities can no longer ‘effectively support’ women because of lockdown and staff sickness.

      More than 25 organisations helping domestic violence victims have reported an increase in their caseload since the start of the UK’s coronavirus epidemic.

      One group, Chayn, said that analysis of online traffic showed that visitors to its website had more than trebled last month compared with the same period last year. An audit of 119 organisations by the domestic abuse charity SafeLives found, however, that even as pressure on frontline services increased, most were being forced to reduce vital services.

      The groups were surveyed during the last week of March, with 26 of them able to confirm increased caseloads owing to Covid-19. Three-quarters said they had had to reduce service delivery to victims.

      Most domestic abuse organisations provide face-to-face or phone support, but a quarter say they can not “effectively support” adult abuse victims owing to technical issues, inability to meet victims, and staff sickness.

      A separate study highlights the plight of domestic-violence survivors. SafeLives interviewed 66 survivors, and the women were asked to score themselves from zero to 10, with 10 denoting “safe”. More than half offered a score of five or less, with three saying they felt “not safe at all”.

      One said: “I’m in a controlling, emotionally abusive relationship and fear it could escalate due to heightened stress surrounding the current virus situation.” Another added that she was having to sit in her car to get away from the perpetrator.

      There is growing pressure on the government to announce emergency funding to help victims. Suzanne Jacob, chief executive of SafeLives, said: “We know the government is thinking about what extra support might be needed for victims and their families during this difficult time, and this research shows that helping services to stay afloat and carry on doing their vital lifesaving work will be key.”

      Hera Hussain, founder of Chayn, said: “Survivors of domestic abuse are walking on eggshells, scared of having no support if tensions escalate.”

      Evidence suggests that domestic abuse is likely to increase as a result of the pandemic. In China’s Hubei province, where the virus was first detected, domestic violence reports to police more than tripled during the lockdown in February.

      ▻https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/04/domestic-abuse-cases-soar-as-lockdown-takes-its-toll?CMP=Share_iOSApp_O

    • In Italy, support groups fear lockdown is silencing domestic abuse victims

      MILAN: Italy has seen a sharp fall in official reports of domestic violence as it approaches a month under coronavirus lockdown, raising concern among some support groups that forced confinement is leaving victims struggling to seek help.

      Citing official data, a parliamentary committee into violence against women said last week that reports to police of domestic abuse dropped to 652 in the first 22 days of March, when Italy went into lockdown, from 1,157 in the same period of 2019.

      Telefono Rosa, Italy’s largest domestic violence helpline, said calls fell 55per cent to 496 in the first two weeks of March from 1,104 in the same period last year. Other help groups said they had seen similar declines.

      The parliamentary committee’s report said the trend did not mean a decline in violence against women but was rather a signal that “victims of violence risk being even more exposed to control and aggression by a partner who mistreats them.”

      “There are a lot of problems in this situation, maybe not the least of them is the difficulty of asking for help when everyone is obliged to stay at home,” said Alessandra Simone, director of the police criminal division in Milan.

      Successive Italian governments have passed reforms aimed at improving protections, but 13.6per cent of women have suffered violence from a partner or ex-partner, according to national statistics bureau Istat.

      The country has seen more than 100,000 cases of COVID-19 and accounts for almost a third of worldwide deaths. It was the first European nation to go into lockdown.

      “We’re seeing a drastic fall in calls by women because they have less freedom in this situation of forced confinement,” said Chiara Sainaghi, who manages five anti-violence centres in and around Milan for the Fondazione Somaschi, a social assistance foundation. She said calls to her group had fallen by as much as 70per cent.

      Some help groups and the authorities say they have tried to launch other forms of contact, including messaging services like WhatsApp, whose use has surged during lockdowns in many countries. Users in Italy are placing 20per cent more calls and sending 20per cent more messages on WhatsApp compared to a year ago, the company said in mid-March.

      Italian police have in recent days adapted an app originally designed to allow young people to report bullying and drug dealing near their schools to report domestic violence by sending messages or pictures without alerting their partner.

      In Spain, where police said they had also seen a fall in calls for help, authorities launched a WhatsApp service for women trapped at home which the Equality Ministry said had seen a 270per cent increase in consultations since the lockdown began.

      Valeria Valente, the senator who chairs the Italian parliamentary committee, said cultural and social factors in Italy already made it hard for many to report domestic violence.

      But she said the shutdown appeared to be leading some women who might otherwise try to leave their partners to stick it out.

      “How is a woman who wants to report violence supposed to move? With the lockdown (she) can only contact the anti-violence centres when she goes to the pharmacy or buys food,” Valente said.

      ▻https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/in-italy--support-groups-fear-lockdown-is-silencing-domestic-abuse-