International Summit on Domestic/Family Violence during the COVID-19 Era
Call for Commitment and Action
We, the attendees of the International Summit on Domestic/Family Violence during the COVID-19 Era, are alarmed at the escalating rates and severity of domestic/family violence, critically intensified during the pandemic.
Lockdowns; school closings; isolation; limited critical physical and mental health care; drastically reduced social and communal services; destabilization of households due to the loss of employment, constrained resources and conditions of overcrowding–all have exacerbated both the frequency and brutality of domestic/family violence, resulting in murder as well.
Peace and dignity are nearly impossible when violence threatens and erupts in domestic spaces. The most vulnerable to domestic/family violence—women; older persons; persons discriminated against because of their sexual orientation and gender identity; persons with disability and/or chronic illness; children and youth; refugees and migrants who lack space to socially distance — are more defenseless than ever.
We must not be indifferent bystanders to the devastation domestic/family violence engenders. Along with renewed feelings of shock and outrage, we must be vigilant and stay committed to responding with rights- and evidence-based measures to end this scourge. Each of us has the responsibility to ensure human security in the home, where all have the right to dignity and safety, where every person can rest, be restored, and supported to flourish.
We, the undersigned, call on all local, state and national governments as well as relevant international organizations, together with civil society, to address these tragic consequences of Covid-19 and end domestic/family violence throughout the world. We can begin by implementing a holistic approach to wellbeing that encompasses physical and mental health; social welfare; innovative, evidence-based law-enforcement strategies; education in all realms, including culture, religion, and the media; employment; the rule of law; and respect for the environment — in our individual, family, institutional, and collective home.
We declare our commitment to creating a world where victims/survivors of domestic/family violence can be heard and supported. As well, we commit to holding perpetrators accountable and working with current and potential perpetrators to prevent more violence.
We must act now to stop the multigenerational transmission of domestic/family violence. Continuing to ignore it would be an unforgivable affront to our common humanity.
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