COVID-19 has been a stark reminder that home is not always a safe place. The pandemic caused cases of domestic and sexual violence to surge across the globe, with the United Nations terming the crisis a “Shadow Pandemic.”
During NO MORE Week 2021, the NO MORE Foundation is sharing the results of a fascinating new global survey of those working on the frontlines to provide support for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault throughout the challenging past year.
The results reveal a shared struggle by a vast majority of support service organizations around the world to respond to the increased demand and stay afloat as funding dried up and staff was overly stressed. Yet, they also show that most organizations found ways to continue critical emergency services, such as hotlines and shelters, and many were able to innovate as a direct result of the pandemic.
Highlights of A NO MORE Report: COVID-19’s Global Impact on Domestic & Sexual Violence Support Services :
- 88% of the nonprofit organizations surveyed were impacted by COVID-19 in their ability to support people who need their services.
- 75% of those organizations had to reduce or cancel their programs or services due to COVID-19. The figure for the U.S. was even higher with 83% of U.S.-based domestic and sexual violence organizations saying that they reduced or canceled their services due to the pandemic.
- At the same time that providers were struggling to maintain services, more than 3 in 5 (63%) domestic violence organizations said that demand for them escalated.
- 40% of all the organizations surveyed saw a funding decline during the pandemic and 82% believe fundraising will be even more difficult this year and next. The financial hit was worse among American organizations, with more than half (54%) reporting overall funding decreases.
- 71% of organizations surveyed said they were able to innovate as a direct result of the pandemic.
We hope this study will serve as a wake-up call that more attention, funding, and innovation are needed to help survivors, support frontline service providers, and prevent domestic and sexual violence around the world. Click here to read a blog by NO MORE’s lead researcher.