The 'Shadow' Pandemic

Abstract

In a desperate attempt to contain the COVID-19 virus, governments around the world have employed stay-at-home policies response aimed to ‘flatten the curve’, but the United Nations have drawn attention to a so-called ‘shadow’ pandemic, an allusion to rising global levels of violence against women and girls, as a result of such measures. While the catastrophic economic impact of keeping people at home has alarmed policymakers across the globe, the very measures taken to protect populations and keep health systems afloat leave women and girls especially vulnerable to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). This research aims to study the negative impact that physical distancing and social isolation have on vulnerable girls and women experiencing SGBV. With immense consequences, it creates an inventory non-interventionist research efforts to inform policy and program responses to mitigate adverse effects while planning the new ‘normal’.

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McGill University is located on land which has long served as a site of meeting and exchange amongst Indigenous peoples, including the Haudenosaunee and Anishinabeg nations. McGill honours recognizes and respects these nations as the traditional stewards of the lands and waters on which peoples of the world now gather. Today, this meeting place is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island. We are grateful to have the opportunity to work on this land.

Learn more about Indigenous Initiatives at McGill.

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