Blog by Raakhi Shah, CEO The Circle
The pandemic has forced thousands more women into dangerous circumstances. Many are locked in with an abusive partner, others are at risk of violence as they lose their jobs overnight, and young girls are at increasing risk of child marriage.
During the many years I’ve worked in this sector I have had the privilege of spending time with women and girls across the world. From Bangladesh to the Democratic Republic of Congo to Guatemala, I have heard first-hand accounts of violence and exploitation. Knowing that the pandemic is accelerating these dangers for so many women is something we simply can’t ignore.
The statistics tell a frightening story
- The UN estimate there will be 15 million more cases of domestic violence worldwide for every 3 months of lockdown
- In Hubei, the Chinese province at the epicentre of the original outbreak, domestic violence reports rose by over 300% during February.
- In Malaysia and Lebanon, calls to helplines have doubled on the previous year.
- In South Africa, over one third (35.9%) of women who are employed are employed informally. This loss of financial security further reduces their freedom from violent partners with fewer resources with which to flee a place of violence.
- South Africa has the highest rate of rape in the world with 132.4 incidents per 100,000 people. According to a survey conducted by the South African Medical Research Council, approximately one in four men surveyed admitted to committing rape.
- This year the UK saw a 25% rise in phone calls to the National Domestic Abuse Helpline and police were called out to a domestic violence situation every 3 minutes.
But together we can make a difference – through our Big Give Christmas appeal 2020
We urgently want to raise funds for our incredible partner projects who are working tirelessly on the frontline.
- At the Nonceba Family Counselling Centre which provides shelter for women in Khayelitsha, a township near Cape Town in South Africa, women and girls who have survived domestic violence or been victims of human trafficking, are offered a place to stay, counselling, legal support and access to healthcare and victim empowerment groups. Your donation will help meet increased demand and allow women and girls to stay in safety.
- Glasgow and Clyde Rape Crisis provides free and confidential support to girls and women suffering from rape, sexual assault and sexual violence. Your donation will help fund their services so they can respond to the growing numbers of women and girls who need them.
- £10 could provide an hour of online support and counselling for a survivor of violence.
- £25 could provide ten days safe refuge for a survivor of violence.
By donating to our Big Give Christmas appeal – from 12pm 1st December 2020 to 12pm 8th December – your donation will be doubled. That means double the support to help women and girls who rely on our partner projects. Your donation will mean thousands more women and girls have a lifeline, a counsellor to talk to, a service to find safety in, and a friend. They can’t wait, which is why together we must act now to give the gift of safety.
The Circle is all about solidarity. Women empowering women