Much of the world is currently in isolation. This has a big impact on all of us, but especially on those who are at risk of domestic violence.
Currently locked up at home, these people are trapped. The rise in domestic violence is one of the less discussed and unforeseen consequences of Covid-19 and is unfortunately a trend that is valid worldwide.
• In Brazil, state centers for dealing with domestic violence report a 40-50% increase in casualties, which is thought to be due to isolation from the coronavirus. * 1
• In Australia, there has been a 75% increase in Google's search for domestic violence assistance since the beginning of the isolation. * 2
• In Hubei, China, twice as many cases of domestic violence were reported to the police in February this year compared to the same period last year. * 1
• Authorities in Spain report a 20% increase in calls to the domestic violence hotline just days after the start of isolation. * 1
These data show that the negative trend is observed worldwide. As a global company, The Body Shop launched the Isolated Not Alone campaign to help. Our goal is to draw attention to the topic, provide information and inspire our employees and clients to seek help if they are victims of domestic violence, or to help if they know such.
You can show your support and solidarity by sharing a hashtag #IsolatedNotAlone.
• If you are in a relationship in which you are being abused, know that it is not your fault - and it never was. Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity, respect and love.
• If you experience domestic violence, even during isolation, this does not mean that you have to deal with it alone. Your relatives and friends can help, even from a distance. Make sure you have a trusted person with whom you communicate regularly, who calls you regularly and monitors how you are.
• Create a code word, phrase or other sign that you can secretly tell your loved ones that you are in danger or need help.
• Domestic violence can mean physical trauma, but it can also be verbal - words that threaten and humiliate. It often begins with words and eventually escalates into physical violence. To be safe, it is crucial to be informed. Even during the crisis caused by COVID-19, there are organizations that can help. If you are experiencing verbal or physical violence, it is very important to get to know the nearest help center in your area.
• In times of social isolation, it is more difficult to make a plan to leave home, but it is still possible. Accommodation centers are open, it is possible that your family and friends have a free place where you can live in quarantine.
• Even if you feel trapped at home, make a plan and try to be safe - decide where you can go, always keep important contacts and phone numbers, prepare the basic things you need to take - personal documents, a pair clothes, money if you have, and whatever else is important to you. It is a good idea to share the plan with a family member or best friend. Don't forget to turn off the location tracking feature on your phone.
• If you are in a risky relationship, the phone may be your salvation. Keep it charged, next to you at all times, have someone to call and turn off the location feature if you're trying to leave.
If you are in immediate danger, call the emergency number 112 or 192
Domestic violence affects one in three women and one in nine men worldwide. Even if you are not a victim, you are more likely to have a friend, colleague or relative who is experiencing domestic violence. We can all help by taking care of each other and striving to prevent violence.
• Recognizing the signs of domestic violence is an important first step in taking action to stop it. Follow your instincts. If you feel something is wrong, it probably is. Ask yourself, "Will the situation get worse if I don't do anything?" If the answer is yes, think about the best way to intervene. You can see more information about the characteristics of a relationship in which there is violencehere.
• If you see or hear something that you perceive as domestic violence, try to help. But if the situation seems dangerous to you, do not try to cope without help.
• If a friend or relative tells you that he or she feels threatened by domestic violence, choose a code word or sign together that he / she can tell you if the situation becomes dangerous and needs help.
• Advise the person who told you that they are at risk of domestic violence to make a plan so that they are safe - look together for a place where they can find shelter, if they have to leave, advise them to prepare the most important thing you need to take - documents, money, phone numbers, help by contacting an organization that can help.
• Violence does not always leave physical scars. Verbal and emotional abuse are also types of domestic violence and cause long-term harm. These may include humiliation, constant criticism, threats. Learn more about the different forms of domestic violence here.
• You can prevent domestic violence, even before it is a fact, by starting to talk about the topic early. Teach your children and the young people around you that relationships between people should be based on mutual respect, trust, equality and honesty. Use the time that families are together longer to start or continue this conversation.
Share this important topic with your loved ones and join us -#IsolatedNotAlone