COVID-19 has morphed beyond its status as a deadly pandemic. It has become the catalyst for a whole army of other pressing issues that society has long neglected to address, with gender-based violence being one of the most prominent.
The drawn-out stay-at-home mandate that came hand-in-hand with COVID-19 has witnessed the stark jump in the number of domestic violence cases globally, with the demographic of victims falling disproportionately towards women living with their abusers.
At last count, UN Women has reported that over 243 million women experience some form of physical violence from an intimate partner across the past 12 months, and on home ground, domestic violence reports have escalated some 112 percent since earlier in the year.
A lack of access or knowledge about ways to seek help has been detrimental to victims finding aid, so social media giant Twitter has stepped up to pioneer a search prompt that leads these individuals in the right, safe direction.
Tagged to the platform’s #ThereIsHelp hashtag, which also aids mental health issues, suicide prevention, child sexual exploitation, vaccination and COVID-19, this new initiative sees women receiving notifications for helplines in their local language when they search for keywords tagged to gender-based violence.
This narrows the gap between victims and their access to information that enables them to seek help, which can hopefully, in the long run, impact how individuals and society address issues of gender-based violence.
The prompt was created in collaboration with UN Women Asia Pacific to launch across the region, and in Singapore, the brand is working with AWARE to make sure women get the assistance they require.
“With domestic violence on the rise in Singapore during the COVID-19 pandemic, AWARE has been urgently searching for ways to make our services known to those outside our existing community,” said Corinna Lim, executive director for AWARE, in a press statement.
For more on seeking aid against gender-based violence, click here.