COVID-19 has highlighted the urgency of addressing violence against women and children, which reports suggest has increased during the pandemic. Often referred to as a “shadow pandemic,” the rise in violence over the past two years has been linked to lockdowns and other restrictions on movement put in place due to COVID-19, which force women and children to remain at home with their abusers.
In 2016, the World Health Organization published a global plan of action to address violence against women, children, and girls. It proposed a four-pronged approach: firstly, strengthen health system leadership and governance; secondly, strengthen health service delivery and health workers’ capacity to respond; thirdly, strengthen programming to prevent interpersonal violence; and lastly, improve information and evidence.
In this BMJ opinion article, Helga Fogstad discusses why, five years on, these measures are needed more than ever and why it's time to act.
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