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Violence against women and girls: Evidence digest - Issue 24, July 2020


Here is a selection of the latest evidence on violence against women and girls (VAWG) and gender-based violence (GBV):


COVID-19 and violence against women and children – what have we learned so far? (June 2020) This note from the Center for Global Development reviews rigorous studies of how the COVID-19 pandemic have impacted rates of violence against women and children (VAW/C), as well as service provision and public attitudes toward VAW/C.

Out of 12 studies reviewed, three reported decreases in VAW/C measures, three reported increases, three reported mixed findings, and three reported no changes. Two of the reviews used primary data, while the others relied on mainly police reports and calls to services.

In seeking to interpret the mixed findings, the authors stress that prevalence estimates from administrative sources can tell us about reporting trends, but may say little about actual violence rates as reporting is influenced by a range of factors. Lockdown orders, isolating with perpetrators, lost income and limited access to social support networks are factors that may have impacted reporting of VAW/C during COVID-19 – making it challenging to estimate actual changes in VAW/C during the pandemic.

The review of five studies of services and public attitudes about VAW/C found that service providers are worried about limited capacity to meet increasing needs of survivors – but also highlight a perceived increase in public support for response services.

The review highlights gaps in the current evidence base, which include limited evidence from low- and middleincome countries (LMICs) and few studies examining violence against children and VAW/C outside the home.

Forced migration, SGBV and COVID-19: Understanding the impact of COVID-19 on forced migrant survivors of SGBV (May 2020)

Based on interviews with 52 survivors of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and 45 service providers, this report explores the impact of COVID19 on forced migrant survivors of SGBV. The majority of the SGBV survivors were women (48 women and 4 men). The interviews were conducted in Australia, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey and the UK.

The study found that the pandemic has exacerbated pre-existing challenges in forced migrant survivors’ lives, including fear of seeking medical care, social isolation and worries about income, health and the future – with severe impact on overall mental health and wellbeing. The shift from face-to-face services to remote services has had a major impact on access to services for forced migrant survivors, as many have struggled to access support. The situation has intensified the vulnerability of forced migrant women to abuse, as finding safe accommodation is very challenging.