Women, Peace & Security

France is putting domestic abuse victims in hotels during coronavirus lockdown

An article written by Tim Hume for Vice explores the steps France has taken to help victims of domestic abuse during the Covid-19 crisis. Hume also explains how a rise of domestic violence cases has been seen in many countries around the world as a result of the mandatory quarantine measures many governments are imposing.

Key points include:

  • Reports of domestic abuse have spiked by about 30% since France went into lockdown in mid-March.
  • France is relocating women beaten by their partners into hotels, and has created a secret code word for them to discreetly seek help in pharmacies, in response to a huge increase in domestic abuse during the coronavirus lockdown.
  • Schiappa announced Monday that the government would pay for up to 20,000 nights of accommodation in hotels to help women escape abusive partners, and had set up 20 support centres at shopping centres around the country where women could seek help.
  • Last week, French officials set up an “alert system” in pharmacies nationwide, where victims of domestic abuse could discreetly ask the pharmacist to call police by asking for a “mask 19.” The initiative mimics a scheme set up in Spain’s Canary Islands that uses the same code word.
  • Officials and domestic violence services around the world have reported similar rises in abuse since their countries went into lockdown.

Read the full article here.