Domestic violence: A hidden pandemic?

Research shows women face the most danger from people they know

Studies carried out by the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) during this year’s lockdowns showed a spike in domestic violence during the confinement periods. The reports looked at the measures each EU country took to protect women during the pandemic and shows how governments can amplify the role of people witnessing violence.

“Women usually face the most danger from people they know. EIGE’s research shows EU governments recognise this: every single country has introduced special measures to protect women from intimate partner violence during the pandemic. Yet persistent under-funding of shelters and domestic violence hotlines has resulted in sometimes patchy support,” said Carlien Scheele, EIGE’s Director.

‘Help is there don’t remain silent’ – Bishop Galea Curmi 

Auxilliary Bishop Galea Curmi, had mentioned these concerns on Newsbook Hour on 103 Malta’s Heart. In the interview given to Fr. Joe Borg, Bishop Galea Curmi said quarantine, for these families, exacerbates problems. He encouraged all those who are victims of domestic violence to file reports and to seek help rather than suffer in silence and do nothing. “There are those who are ready to help, so seek out this help,” said Bishop Galea Curmi.

Shaky support systems

The pandemic unveiled shaky support systems, this is especially emphasized during the lock-downs, when the victim and the perpetrator have to share a confined space for long stretches of times. This also limits the possibility for the victim to seek assistance.

Earlier this year, the Commission on Gender-Based Violence and Domestic Violence launched a new empowering and educational online campaign on gender-based and domestic violence. Messages by artists, athletes, politicians, presenters, activists among others coming together and to spread empowering messages on social media.