Emerging data from a new UN Women study confirms that the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a shadow pandemic of violence against women

1 in 2 women reported that they or a woman they know have experienced violence since COVID-19

COVID-19 has intensified violence against women

Socio-economic stressors such as employment and external stressors such as food insecurity and family relations have a significant impact, not only on experiences of violence or feelings of safety but also on women’s well-being overall. 

7 in 10 women think domestic violence has increased during the pandemic.

Women are feeling more unsafe at home

The findings revealed that women are feeling less safe at home as conflicts between adults at home has increased, along with the occurrence or threat of physical violence, or because other women in the household have been hurt.

3 in 5 women think that sexual harassment in public spaces has worsened during COVID-19.

Women feel less safe in public spaces

Violence against women in public spaces remains a key deterrent to women’s mobility during COVID-19. It limits their access to employment, essential services, and recreational activities. It also negatively impacts their health and well-being.

Most women (4 in 5) reported that they would reach out for help if they were subject to domestic violence. But only 11% thought women would go to police.

Women are reluctant to seek help outside the family

For violence that occurs within the home, most women tend to seek help from family than from the authorities, but more women seek help from police when it comes to sexual harassment in public spaces.

Violence against women during COVID-19 is linked to other negative outcomes

58% Food Insecurity

Women who experienced or know other women who experienced violence since COVID-19, were more likely to be food insecure.

2 in 5 women said that COVID-19 has worsened their overall mental and emotional health.

Women who experienced or know women who experienced violence since COVID-19 were 1.3 times as likely to report increased mental and emotional stress as women who did not.


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