COVID-19 has unleashed many”shadow” effects and one is a surge in domestic violence. Madre, a women’s rights organization, has invited Media Matters for Women to join its Consortium on Domestic Violence Prevention During COVID-19 MADRE. In addition to Madre and Media Matters for Women, the other organizations include WILPF, Nobel Women’s Initiative, OutRight Action International, Women Enabled, Men Engage, and World Pulse. Together we have analyzed successful interventions to make key programmatic recommendations for grassroots organizations working on the frontlines of gender and the COVID-19 crisis, as well as policy recommendations for the international community. The final document on local strategies can be accessed here: Local Strategies
In the coming weeks the Consortium will also release a Toolkit that provides global strategies adaptable for local communities for effective grassroots responses, including social media content for violence prevention campaigns and tactics for addressing abuse in the current environment of physical distancing, isolation, lockdowns, and remote work of many organizations. Our hope is that organizations can adopt and tailor these responses to their own contexts. While not intended to be a stand-alone manual for stopping domestic violence, the briefing paper issued in April and the forthcoming toolkit are meant to spark action and serve as a practical initial guide. The toolkit will be translated from English into French, Spanish, Arabic, and Swahili and contain resources for three overarching strategies: preventing domestic violence; addressing domestic violence, and; documenting domestic violence in COVID-19 affected communities.