COVID-19 Domestic Violence Country Updates: Ethiopia
Friday, July 24, 2020 4:20 PM


In Ethiopia, since the beginning of the lockdown period, cases of domestic violence have increased by 25-30%. While authorities have seen a spike in domestic violence cases, incidents are underreported as victims are afraid to go to the police and risk COVID-19 infection. In prioritizing their COVID-19 response, health care services have stopped providing reproductive and mental health services to women – a decision that has negatively impacted the health of many women and children who are victims of violence. In early April, the Ethiopia Network of Women Shelters launched an emergency shelter for victims of violence in Addis Ababa. However, the shelter has only received 10 women as, like many shelters in Ethiopia, they do not have the equipment to screen for COVID-19. In response to the spike in domestic violence cases, activists are urging the Ethiopian government to support survivors of domestic violence by including in the government’s COVID-19 emergency response package emergency shelters, 24-hour crisis hotlines, legal counseling, and mental and economic support.