Though the stay-at-home orders have given abusers more hours in the day and more ammunition for abuse, the situation doesn’t cause the violence. Instead, it aggravates cycles of abuse and the existing failings in the United States’ justice system.
As Latin America battles both the virus and domestic abuse, women’s advocates see a glimmer of hope in innovative protective measures set up by governments and women’s groups that could endure well into the future.
“These movements are very smart and dedicated. They know the solutions they need; now it’s up to the governments to start listening.”
At this time, it’s important for governments to recognize the unique impacts that the virus has on girls and women—including gender-based violence—and take action to ensure their safety and well-being during lockdown.
“On the Record” chronicles not only Drew Dixon’s story but that of several other accusers—Sil Lai Abrams, Sheri Sher—delving deeply into the ways women of colors’ voices are all too often silenced and ignored when reporting these crimes, and the cultural forces that pressure them to remain silent.
Throughout the country and world, Denim Day sets a standard of support for survivors and provides a foundation for solidarity through a simple message: There is no excuse for sexual assault.
Twenty-five-year-old Marzia Akbar is part of a small group of female psychologists. Her team runs a covert counseling clinic at a local hospital in the Herat province and have helped many victims of domestic abuse. But Herat’s stay-at-home order has caused Akbari’s team to lose contact with most of their clients.
“When we gloss over the icky parts of being a girl and focus on how strong, equal and powerful they are … When we don’t address the unpleasant and creepy experiences that are a girl’s inheritance, we do them a disservice. We contribute to their confusion.”
Incarcerated women are 30 times more likely to be raped than free women. Even though women account for less than 10% of inmates, their reports account for three quarters of assaults, and almost three-quarters of staff are men.
“Sexual abuse survivors have endured an exhausting journey only to learn now that their long-awaited day in court is postponed to an unknown date. I reassure my clients, as well as survivors everywhere, that there is a silver lining. This pause in the court system may ultimately make their cases stronger.”
As the government plans Phase 4 of stimulus relief, it is important that Congress address the needs of our nation’s most vulnerable populations: domestic violence and sexual assault survivors.