Resource: South Asian Domestic Violence Survivors in Silicon Valley Grapple With COVID-19 Lockdown

Anahita Mukerji, South Asian Domestic Violence Survivors in Silicon Valley Grapple With COVID-19 Lockdown, The Wire, 3 April 2020, https://thewire.in/women/south-asian-domestic-violence-survivors-in-silicon-valley-grapple-with-covid-19-lockdown.

Excerpt: ‘While the situation is horrific for all domestic violence victims, accessing help can be particularly challenging for immigrants, such as the large South Asian population in Silicon Valley, where many women have no support system, are far from their families, and are not accustomed to calling the police to complain of their husbands, or accessing legal systems. Many South Asians in Silicon Valley are recent migrants who have yet to acclimatise themselves to their new environment.

Over the last couple of weeks, ever since counties in and around Silicon Valley called for a stringent shelter-in-place, asking people not to leave their homes except for essentials, nonprofits supporting South Asian domestic violence survivors are working round the clock, devising novel methods of supporting women through the shutdown.

Resource: Pandemics and Violence against Women and Children

Amber Peterman, Alina Potts, Megan O’Donnell, Kelly Thompson, Niyati Shah, Sabine Oertelt-Prigione, and Nicoele van Gelder, Pandemics and Violence Against Women and Children, Working Paper 528, Centre for Global Development, April 2020. (www.cgdev.org)

Abstract
Times of economic uncertainty, civil unrest, and disaster are linked to a myriad of risk factors for increased violence against women and children (VAW/C). Pandemics are no exception. In fact, the regional or global nature and associated fear and uncertainty associated with pandemics provide an enabling environment that may exacerbate or spark diverse forms of violence. Understanding mechanisms underlying these dynamics are important for crafting policy and program responses to mitigate adverse effects. Based on existing published and grey literature, we document nine main (direct and indirect) pathways linking pandemics and VAW/C, through effects of (on): (1)
economic insecurity and poverty-related stress, (2) quarantines and social isolation, (3) disaster and conflict-related unrest and instability, (4) exposure to exploitative relationships due to changing demographics, (5) reduced health service availability and access to first responders, (6) inability of women to temporarily escape abusive partners, (7) virus-specific sources of violence, (8) exposure to violence and coercion in response efforts, and (9) violence perpetrated against health care workers. We also suggest additional pathways with limited or anecdotal evidence likely to effect smaller subgroups. Based on these mechanisms, we suggest eight policy and program responses for action by governments, civil society, international and community-based organizations. Finally, as research linking pandemics directly to diverse forms of VAW/C is scarce, we lay out a research agenda comprising three main streams, to better (1) understand the magnitude of the problem, (2) elucidate mechanisms and linkages with other social and economic factors and (3) inform intervention and response options. We hope this paper can be used by researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to
help inform further evidence generation and policy action while situating VAW/C within the broader need for intersectional gender- and feminist-informed pandemic response.