The COVID-19 pandemic is directing much-needed attention to gender-based violence (GBV) worldwide and is particularly shining a light on the hidden epidemic of intimate partner violence (IPV). In recent months, there has been a plethora of high-profile statements calling for measures to address the GBV ‘shadow pandemic’. For example, a joint statement by 146 UN member states and observers declared support for the UN Secretary General’s appeal to prioritise prevention and redress of violence against women in national COVID-19 response plans. This is an important opportunity to translate attention to action.
Integrating GBV risk mitigation into COVID-19 response measures, alongside strengthened GBV prevention and response, is critical to effectively addressing this double pandemic. The global community must back up commitments with investment and action to improve the safety and well-being of women and girls now and in future crises.