Protecting the Vulnerable During COVID-19

On April 6, 2020 UN Chief António Guterres called for measures to address a “horrifying global surge in domestic violence” directed towards women and girls, linked to lockdowns imposed by governments responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Women and children who live with domestic violence have no escape from their abusers during quarantine, so from the U.S. to South America, Europe, Asia and Africa, activists and survivors are reporting an alarming rise in abuse, and in many countries, shelters, hotlines, and other services for the women are not operating because they are not deemed essential services.

Rotarians see a world where people are able to unite and take action to create lasting change, so as Rotarians respond to the pandemic, they are also taking action to address its impact on survivors of sexual and gender-based violence.

Our discussion addressed this growing crisis and how individuals and clubs can take action. The dicussion was led by an international group of Rotary Peace Fellows who are experts in this field: Regina Mutiru, Kanika Chakraborty, ElsaMarie D’Silva, Will McInerney, and Kathy Doherty.