Centering Prayer

19th and 20th October
Pandemic, Covid-19, Reflection

We Are in This Together – Let’s Talk About Gender-Based Violence

Gender-Based Violence – A Hidden Consequence of Covid19

Paul Keaveny, writing for The Conversation, said that “Gender-based violence is a hidden consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.” He highlighted the heightened risk of domestic and gender based violence for vulnerable women and children staying at home. Yes, “sexual and gender-based violence does not begin with disasters like COVID-19. But the chaos and instability they cause leave women and girls more vulnerable.”

The cries of abused women, men and children who are victims of gender based violence have fallen on many deaf ears. In the situation where perpetrators and victims of violence have been confined to the same space during Covid 19 related restrictions there has been a spike in domestic violence. In Ireland, Women’s Aid and the Garda reported a 30% increase in reported cases of domestic violence (Irish Times, April 27, 2020).

Jessica Dewhurst (Founder and Executive Director) and Gadijah Karan (Community Engagement Officer) of the Justice Desk, A Human Rights NPO based in South Africa share their thoughts on this reality in South Africa.

It is not enough anymore to merely shake our head in disbelief. It is no longer about reading the headlines and turning our heads in disgust. It is time for everyone to once again say, “we are in this together” for what affects so many women, men and children affects me too. It is time to question the systemic structures of our society that allow gender based violence to be perpetuated. It is no longer, as it were, just about “feeding the poor” as Helder Camara, the former Archbishop of Orlinda and Recife in Brazil once said, but daring to ask why so many people are still poor.

What cries for justice and rights have I heard and become aware of during this pandemic?

Is there any cause that I have supported or chosen to learn more about during this pandemic?


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