The European Union Wednesday said domestic violence had been a ‘shadow pandemic’ in Europe already before COVID­19 broke out.

“During the COVID­19 pandemic, cases of domestic violence have increased, bringing to the  attention of all that for many women and girls home is not a safe place. The scale of the problem remains alarming,” said Josep Borrell, EU High Representative, in a statement ahead of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November.

In Europe, one woman in three aged 15 or above reported having experienced some form of physical violence. One in 10 women reported having been victim to some form of sexual violence, and one in 20 had been raped, he noted.

Gender­based cyber violence is spreading fast. A relatively new phenomenon is experienced by all women, though women visible in public life, such as journalists and politicians, experience gender­based cyber violence disproportionately often, he said.

“Over the year, we also witnessed worrisome developments threatening women and girls worldwide. Let’s make Europe and the rest of the world safe for all women and girls,” he stressed. – KUNA

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