Virus saw calls to women’s helplines rise fivefold: UN

Calls to helplines have increased fivefold in some countries as rates of reported intimate partner violence increase due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the United Nations said.

Restricted movement, social isolation, and economic insecurity are increasing women’s vulnerability to violence in the home worldwide, the UN gender equality agency, UN Women, said in releasing statistics in combatting violence against women worldwide on International Women’s Day on March 8.

The UN report said, “Globally, 35 percent of women have ever experienced physical or sexual intimate partner violence, or sexual violence by a non-partner.”

Some national studies show the number can be as high as 70 percent of women.

Rates of depression, having an abortion, and acquiring HIV are higher in women who have experienced this type of violence than women who have not.

UN statistics say 137 women are killed by a member of their family every day.

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