Giving Compass' Take:

• Sonia Sambhi draws attention to the surge of domestic violence as coronavirus forces more and more people to stay at home.

• With coronavirus shattering normalcy across the globe, what can you do to help bring stability to those suffering in their new realities? What can coronavirus and domestic violence help us respond to global crises in the future?

• Find coronavirus resources for donors.

Almost one-fourth of the world’s population is currently on lockdown, and more countries are following suit to prevent further spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus.

While this crucial measure is helping to flatten the curve, it is inadvertently leading to the rise of another public health issue—domestic violence.

Research has shown that during a period of crisis, the risk of domestic violence escalates as perpetrators seek to maintain a sense of power and control in their lives. The current pandemic presents a combination of economic and health uncertainties that could spur an increase in domestic violence.

With social distancing and lockdown measures, women crisis centres with safe houses in Malaysia and Indonesia are at full capacity and are no longer accepting new cases that require accommodation for survivors.

Organisations are working around these restrictions and pivoting their services to hotlines, phone consultations and virtual sessions for those who need help. WAO has extended their hotline to 24 hours a day, and scaled up publicity for their online resources through radio, television and the internet.

To cater to the surge in cases of domestic violence, Hollaback Jakarta! has begun pooling resources with other organisations to rent temporary rooms for women and children who require emergency escape.

For a more sustainable solution, it is formalising a set of guidelines to deal with the uptick in cases along with about 40 other organisations that make up the Civil Society Coalition Against Sexual Violence.

As measures to arrest people who violate their stay-at-home orders are rolled out in some countries, advocates are urging the government to assure vulnerable individuals that they can leave their homes without facing charges.

Governments should provide more funding for helplines, crisis shelters, and long-term economic resilience packages for those affected, activists say.

Read the full article about coronavirus and domestic violence in Asia Pacific by Sonia Sambhi at Eco-Business.