Protecting and assisting victims of gender-based violence
To alleviate the impacts of COVID-19 policies, many initiatives have been developed by civil society organisations – NGOs, local governments, or citizens. A team of national researchers from the RESISTIRÉ project has collected and highlighted a set of particularly relevant initiatives in 27 European countries and in Iceland, Serbia, the United Kingdom and Turkey. These Better Stories currently cover eight specific domains: gender-based violence, the labour market, the economy, gender-pay and pension gaps, gender care gaps, decision-making and politics, environmental justice, human and fundamental rights.
In Spain, the “Urgent measures for the protection and assistance to victims of gender-based violence (Law 1/2021)” addressed the special vulnerability of women victims of GBV and trafficking due to the policies enforced in relation to Covid-19. It considered GBV as a threat to human rights, which needs to be tackled by guaranteeing access to integrated social assistance.
The law aimed at maintaining and adapting existing services (integrated assistance and protection services) to ensure their functioning during the pandemic, establishing organizational measures as well as adaptation of the modes of provision.
To this end, such services were declared essential and the law explicitly states that these services shall be guaranteed to all women, “regardless their ethnicity, socio-economic level, age, migrant status, functional diversity, disability, dependency, place of residence and any other situation” amounting to intersectional discrimination. The law makes specific reference to women with disability and women living in rural areas and the barriers they may experience in accessing the support services.