Google, Facebook, Twitter, and UN Women launched an online initiative against gender violence.
Companies have come together to create tools that provide information on support services to women who experience violence during confinement. / Photo: Unsplash
The Woman Post | Maria Lourdes Zimmermann
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Gender violence has increased during the confinement by COVID19 , recent data from various countries show an increase that has forced organizations and government entities around the world to deploy strategies to counter the situation.
In the past year, around 243 million women and girls around the world have suffered sexual or physical violence from a partner, according to the UN.
To attack this scourge, UN Women has just unveiled a new alliance with the world's biggest technology giants like Google, Twitter, and Facebook to provide important information on the online services available to support victims of domestic violence.
Google's contribution will be reflected in Ad Grants, (online advertising) valued at up to USD 1 million to UN Women through the "Ad Grants crisis relief program" to promote content on COVID-19 and gender equality in 2020, including resources to end violence against women.
Google has linked to the main UN Women section on the issue through its COVID-19 information center in the US, and will then expand it to other languages and countries, the organization said.
Facebook is also making resources for survivors of domestic violence available quickly and easily through its platform. Together with long-standing partners of UN Women, the United States National Network to End Domestic Violence and the Global Network of Women's Shelters, 62 UN Women country offices contributed to a deposit to the helpline in Facebook.
The strategy also includes tips that allow women to recognize signs of domestic abuse, how to help other women who are experiencing violence in their homes, and how to stay safe.
These resources will be available worldwide and will be strategically highlighted on the platform, for example, in the COVID-19 Information Center and in various Facebook groups.
"For the millions of women in these desperate circumstances, getting accurate information on local shelters and helplines can make a difference," explains UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. She says: "It can be difficult to find out where to get help and keep that search private, especially when women are under strict control by an abusive partner. We really appreciate the great drive for accessibility that this collaboration brings, making it easy for women seeking help to find it safely. "
What's going on in Asia?
In the Asia-Pacific region, where 2 out of 3 women reported experiences of violence even before the COVID-19 blockades began, a partnership with Twitter is providing helpline numbers for accelerated support.
When a Twitter user searches for terms associated with violence against women (such as "abuse", "sexual assault", "domestic violence", among other search keywords), the result will be delivered to the user in a notification on their own language. At that time the social network will provide you with all the necessary help data to immediately resolve the situation, such as a relevant hotline number and the Twitter identifier of that service.
Twitter, with the support of UN Women, is currently launching these notifications in Thailand, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea and Vietnam as part of Twitter's #ThereIsHelp campaign.
"Violence against women and girls in Asia and the Pacific is widespread, but at the same time not widely reported," says Melissa Alvarado, UN Women Regional Manager for Asia and the Pacific. "Fewer than four in 10 women who experience such violence actually report these crimes or seek help." As countries around the world lengthen blockades and stay-at-home orders to stem the spread of COVID-19, women with violent partners find themselves increasingly isolated from people and the resources that can help them. "Connecting women who feel fearful or in danger is essential for their safety," says Alvarado.
As part of the #ThereIsHelp campaign, Twitter users are encouraged to send messages of support and let others know that the services are open and available to help women who experience violence.