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Civil Society Strengthening Platform Guidelines to better support women and girls victims of violence throughout the COVID-19 pandemic

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The current COVID-19 pandemic represents a great social and economic disruption to all human beings, affecting disproportionally women and girls due to widespread pre-existing discrimination and inequalities

. Every crisis creates inequalities and aggravates older ones, such as the inequalities existing against women and girls. It is necessary for states to step up their efforts and increase the measures to protect women and girls victims of violence.

Home is not always a safe place for women and their children, and they are especially at-risk during lockdown, as they cannot escape their abusers. A grave concern is that social distancing and confinement rules imposed by national governments have triggered additional risks of domestic violence.

The present guidelines are to support the national government and service providers in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey to better respond to the needs of women and their children, girls’ victims of violence to the effects of the lockdown measures in light of the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. These guidelines are to be applicable also after the lockdown measures are lifted.

The guidelines are prepared by CSSP partners and WAVE Network, in frame of the Civil Society Strengthening Platform project, a project ongoing in 7 countries in the Western Balkans and Turkey, supported in frame of the European Union and UN Women programme ‘Implementing norms, changing minds’ .