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#VERA Trainings on Combating Domestic Violence
Volunteering Equality Rights Action
Project Number: 101104521
(Revealing European Values In Volunteering in Europe - REVIVE Project No. 101051131)
After centrally organised training of trainers by CEV, online and offline cascaded training activities in Member States will be organised on “Combating & preventing domestic violence and gender violence as a result of war via volunteering”.
Volunteering can play a role in reducing the violence that women face as a result of war, including prevention of access to essential services. Projects supported by volunteers have also been used to reduce less talked about forms of violence that women face as a result of war such as barriers to healthcare.
Analysis shows that women around the world are disproportionately victims of various forms of violence. One common form is domestic violence, also sometimes called ‘intimate partner violence.’ Domestic violence is one of the most common forms of violence that women face. Domestic violence against women is something that has worsened over the Covid-19 Pandemic. According to one meta-analysis analysing eighteen studies across multiple countries, incidents of domestic violence have increased as a result of Covid lockdown orders (Piquero et al., 2021). This increase has disproportionately affected women. Reasons for this increase include: the economic impact of COVID-19, added stressors in the home, and stay-at-home orders putting the most vulnerable in close proximity with potential abusers.
Volunteers play a role in reducing domestic violence. Domestic violence shelters across the world are key organisations in helping women experiencing abuse to get out of their present situation. Many of these domestic violence shelters engage volunteers, who are often key to the work that they do. To quote one domestic violence shelter, ‘Women in Distress’, “volunteers play an important role in helping to keep families safe as they rebuild their violence-free lives.”
Women also experience multiple forms of violence during war. War exposes women to increased gender-based violence, both in the immediate conflict area and in countries where they seek refuge (Berlin, Campa, 2022). Types of violence women experience during conflicts include: arbitrary killings, torture, trafficking, sexual violence, forced marriage and barriers to essential services (OHCHR). Trafficking and sexual violence in particular are things that disproportionately affect women during conflict (UN Security Council, 2021). Sexual violence is especially gendered during war due to women and girls often being primarily targetted with such acts as a specific tactic (OHCHR). Even if women are able to escape a conflict zone, they are often still targeted with such acts, with one meta-analysis finding that approximately one in five refugees or displaced women in complex humanitarian settings have experienced sexual violence (Vu et al., 2014).