Warning: for many, #stayathome is by no means a reassuring invitation. An increase of domestic violence at a time of forced domesticity, something that we can easily imagine, was plentifully in evidence in the first epicenter of the pandemic in China, where divorces have been spiking and the hashtag #AntiDomesticViolenceDuringEpidemic #疫期反家暴# was used over 3,000 times in the last month.
More recently, we have seen similar trends emerging in the second epicentre, Italy, a country notorious even in less difficult times for its high numbers of femicides at the hands of “those who hold the house keys”. During the last few days, chilling videos of domestic violence have begun to circulate on social media. These are videos that we will not link here, but that feminist sentinels on the net are mapping and trying to contain the cases.
The most significant action to combat domestic violence in these times of forced and prolonged proximity was put in place by the network of Italian anti-violence centers DiRE, with the support of the national transfeminist movement Non Una Di Meno. This network has so far secured the regular operation of national and regional domestic violence hotlines.
In this context, it becomes increasingly clear how gender violence is a structural device against which a perspective of systemic transformation must be activated, with initiatives ranging from educational prevention to workplace measures.
INITIATIVES / DEMANDS
(Examples of concrete pirate care and bottom-up practices, both emerging and pre-existing)
AWARENESS AND COMMUNITY RESOURCES The Chilean feminist collective Red Chilena contra la Violencia Hacia las Mujeres launched a series of resources under the Twitter hashtag #enrednoscuidamos. These resources aim to create awareness on the systemic quality of domestic violence and offer as well practical information.
Juntas en Acción is a Chilean network that addresses women’s rights. They released the document Violencia de Género en Chile - SPA that dennounces the insufficient state policies in Chile for preventing gender violence and presents proposals for a more efficient management and perspective.
PREVENTIVE INITIATIVES FOR MEN In the Argentinian region of Neuquén exists since 2018 the Dispositivo de Atención a Varones (DAV). They work with men offenders (when there is already a denounce) to prevent relapse, trying to deconstruct their notions of masculinity and power within their families. As developed in this article - SPA, the center offers therapy for closed groups, where they work around the topics of paternity, sexuality, violence, etc. A critical aspect they address is the notion of property over other members of the family (partner, children). They also confront ideas of individual and personal senses of the law with current legal frameworks, trying to introduce the concept of responsibility with a community. DAV works with people from different socioeconomic backgrounds, and they observe that violence acquires many forms, more or less subtle, and different strategies of concealment. Life stories are incorporated in the narratives as a way to connect (or disentangle) people with their upbringings.
There is also an article in the Argentinian magazine Revista Anfibia - SPA on other preventive initiatives.
(what’s been happening, other news that impact the situation)
(critical thinking / analysis pieces - also not corona-specific, but about the issue in focus)
- Home Is Not A Safe Place For Everyone
- How to stop Coronavirus Lockdown Leading to an Upsurge in Violence Against Women, from the Oxfam blog
- Pandemic Inequalities, Pandemic Demands by Plan C.
(links to other repositories, syllabi, practical advice, how-to, etc.)
- [Survival kit for men under pressure](https://www.maenner.ch/fr/corona/)
A prevention contribution by the umbrella organizations for work with boys, men, and fathers in Switzerland (www.maenner.ch), Austria (www.dmoe-info.at) and Germany (www.bundesforum-maenner.de). This leaflet formulates recommendations for self-management to help men get through the crisis without violence. The document makes recommendations for self-management to help men get through this crisis without using violence. This leaflet is available in: Français, Deutsch, Italiano, English, Español, Português, Türkçe, Kurdî (Kurmancî), Shqip, Srpsko-hrvatski, Al-ʿarabiyya, Fārsī, Tamil, Tigriññā, Somali, Russkiy, Polski, Magyar, Slovenský, Nederlands. (other links from main webpage)
- VARONES Y MASCULINIDAD(ES) - (ES) Herramientas pedagógicas para facilitar talleres con adolescentes y jóvenes. (A pedagogical tool to develop workshops for young men).