Activists rally on Capitol Hill for the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. (Getty Images)

As gender-based violence increases under COVID-19, Congress’s inaction is more appalling than ever

By: Tarah Demant, Director, Gender, Sexuality, and Identity Program, Amnesty International USA

What happens when home is unsafe?

But for some people, home isn’t a safe place. This is particularly true for those living in situations of intimate partner violence, also called domestic violence (DV).

Domestic Violence is increasing during COVID-19

What’s even more troubling is that rates of domestic violence are increasing during COVID-19. The COVID crisis has created a pressure-cooker situation: exacerbating stressors like financial pressure, family pressure, social anxiety, job loss, anger at politics, and social isolation.

Congress has left women MORE vulnerable to domestic violence

In so many ways, COVID-19 has revealed many of the ugly realities for many Americans — the inequality baked into our systems, the lack of regard there can be for more vulnerable people, the prioritization of profit over people. And the situation facing domestic violence survivors is one more example of that. Because, while COVID-19 has made the situation measurably worse, domestic violence survivors were already left more vulnerable because of Congress’s inaction.

YOU can take action — From your couch, from your chair, from wherever you are!

As the world deals with the gender-based violence implications, the UN Secretary General has called for governments to put women’s safety first as they respond to the pandemic. The United States has failed most spectacularly to do so. And though we are all physically distant, we can still stand together, and demand Congress take action.

We've been fighting the bad guys since 1961 - you can join us! Official Amnesty International USA profile.

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