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REPORTING ON GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE DURING PUBLIC HEALTH CRISES

During pandemics, lockdowns, curfews and other restrictions on movement are deemed necessary preventative health measures that can save millions of lives. For women and girls, however, they are also sources of increased risk of violence and death. Organisations working to
combat gender-based violence (GBV) worldwide have issued an unsettling amount of reports showing that more GBV is occurring against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. These reports have underscored the fact that many of the measures deemed necessaryfor controlling a viral outbreak are not only exacerbating GBV-related risks but also significantly limiting the ability of survivors to shield themselves from their abusers, all the while limiting or severing their access to life-saving support. This has been documented repeatedly during previous epidemics throughout the globe, during which women were also observed to take on additional physical, psychological and time burdens as caregivers.