World

UN chief decries ‘horrifying’ rise in domestic violence amid virus lockdown

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Issued on: 06/04/2020 – 15:37Modified: 06/04/2020 – 15:37

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has urged governments to include the protection of women in their response to the deadly novel coronavirus pandemic.

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Reports of domestic violence have surged globally in the wake of massive lockdowns imposed to contain the spread of the disease.

"Violence is not confined to the battlefield," said Guterres in a statement and video released in multiple languages, days after his call for a worldwide ceasefire in the wake of the outbreak.

"For many women and girls, the threat looms largest where they should be safest. In their own homes," he said.

>> Trapped at home: Domestic violence victims at high risk in coronavirus confinement

Describing the rise in domestic violence as "horrifying," he urged all governments "to make the prevention and redress of violence against women a key part of their national response plans for COVID-19."

India reported double the usual number of domestic abuse cases in the first week of nationwide movement restrictions, according to the country's National Commission for Women.