While the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbates the risk of violence against women and children, we’re able to better understand the complexity of the issue as more data and research comes out. A recent report by Plan International Australia and Save the Children, for example, reveals that COVID-19 has led to a drastic increase in rates of violence and exploitation of girls throughout Asia-Pacific. A UN Women story draws attention to online gender-based violence, which there is heightened risk for during COVID-19, and how it is just as destructive as offline violence. In UNICEF’s new “Coping with COVID-19” series, we’re able to learn more about the impacts of COVID-19 on adolescent girls in particular, who face child marriage and more. While rates of violence are increasing, it’s also important to recognize environments in which children may be unknowingly at risk. Darkness to Light revealed some eye-opening statistics around daycare abuse, including the fact that of perpetrators who were child daycare provides, more than 20% committed sexual abuse.
To read more, see below for five news stories that caught our attention this week:
Washington Post, (July 24, 2020): This article underlines the importance of recognizing that black women have been long-standing victims of police violence, including police rape and sexual assault, and should be centered in the fight against racism.
UN Women, (July 21, 2020): In this story, Cecilia Mwende Maundu, a broadcast journalist in Kenya and specialist in gender digital safety, highlights the distinction between offline and online violence during COVID-19, and offers her top digital safety tips.
UNICEF, (July 23, 2020): This blog draws attention to the launch of UNICEF’s new “Coping with COVID-19” series, for which they had 16 adolescent girls from nine countries film their lives under lockdown, showing how the pandemic has impacted their education, relationships, and more.
Darkness to Light, (July 22, 2020): This blog highlights some statistics around daycare and childcare abuse, and offers guidance for parents and guardians to help prevent abuse.
Global Citizen, (July 27, 2020): This article highlights a recent report by Plan International Australia and Save the Children revealing that COVID-19 has led to rapidly escalating rates of violence and exploitation of girls throughout the Asia-Pacific region. In the Philippines, for example, the government recorded close to 280,000 cases of online sex abuse against children from March 1 to May 24 this year – almost four times as many as in 2019.