Monitor violence against women to focus the response during confinement by COVID-19

A recent brief analysis prepared by the Center of Excellence examines the changes in different behaviors associated with violence against women before and during the first weeks of COVID-19 lockdown in Mexico.

According to UNODC’s Global Study on Homicide 2019, much of the homicidal violence against women and girls occurs in the private sphere, particularly in the victim’s home. It may be noted that the perpetrator of this kind of abuse is primarily a family member. The evidence that supports these conclusions warns of a possible increase in violence against women and girls during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.

The records of Prosecutors investigations of the country and the emergency calls to 9-1-1, show a decrease in most types of violence against women. The former may be attributed to two reasons. On the one hand, women cannot denounce from confinement, since social distancing measures restrict mobility to places of denounce, and not all states have digital media. Besides, women who suffer violence many times cannot call 9-1-1 because this implies putting their integrity at higher risk since the aggressor may be in the same physical space.

The violent deaths of women are the only case that showed an increase and, as not depending on the denouncing capacity, it reinforces the possible explanation for the decrease in denouncing in the confinement stage, when, unfortunately, the evidence alerts of the risk of increased violence against women and girls. For this reason, UNODC recommends monitoring the investigations and analyzing the context in which crimes occur as a way to overview violence against women and girls. Also, UNODC works to support countries to improve records of homicides and other crimes to have timely and complete information to support decision-making.

The analysis suggests that, although the majority of the behaviors associated with violence against women and girls, including femicide, showed a decrease during the period of confinement, the current extraordinary situation does not allow us to conclude if these behaviors decreased or if social distancing affected his record.


Download the brief analysis: Monitoring violence against women during the confinement of the COVID-19 pandemic