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Twitter backs efforts to quell rise in domestic violence

MediaInfoline June 17, 2020
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Twitter is committed to serving the public conversation and ensuring people can find information from authoritative sources on various subjects. To this end, the service today launched a dedicated search prompt to serve information and updates from authoritative sources around ‘Domestic violence’.

Every time someone searches for certain keywords associated with the issue of domestic violence, a prompt will direct them to the relevant information and sources of help available on Twitter. This is an expansion of Twitter’s #ThereIsHelp prompt, which was specifically put in place for the public to find clear, credible information on critical issues.

Twitter has partnered with the Ministry of Women and Child Development (@MinistryWCD) and National Commission for Women (@NCWIndia) in India to expand its efforts towards communities. The search prompt will be available on iOS, Android, and on mobile.twitter.com in India, in both English and Hindi languages.

The feature will be reviewed at regular intervals by the Twitter team to ensure that all related keywords generate the proactive search prompt. Some of the search keywords include:

  • English: #crimeagainstwomen, #domesticviolence, #dowry, #dowrydeath, #genderviolence, #genderbasedviolence, #lockdownviolence, #maritalrape, #POSH
  • Hindi: #महिलाहिंसा, #घरेलुहिंसा, #महिलाअत्याचार, #दहेज, #दहेजहत्या, #दहेजप्रथा, #बलात्कार, #भ्रूणहत्या, #कन्याभ्रूणहत्या, #वैवाहिकबलात्कार

As observed globally and in India, the COVID-19 lockdown period has resulted in a staggering increase in domestic violence cases. According to a recent report by UN Women, 243 million women and girls aged 15-49 globally have been subjected to sexual and/or physical violence perpetrated by an intimate partner in the past 12 months. Further, the National Commission for Women (NCW), which receives complaints of domestic violence from across India, has recorded more than twofold rise in gender-based violence in the national Coronavirus lockdown period. This can be attributed to domestic violence manifesting as a form of release by abusive partners who are presently bound at home.

“Violence against women and girls across Asia Pacific is pervasive but at the same time widely under reported. Globally, one in three women experience violence at least once in their lifetime.  In fact, in many countries in our region, the number is even greater, with as many as 2 out of 3 women in some countries reporting experiences of violence,” says Melissa Alvarado, UN Women Asia Pacific Regional Manager on Ending Violence against Women (@unwomenasia). “Less than four in 10 women experiencing  such violence actually report these crimes or seek help of any sort. As lockdowns and stay-at-home orders are getting prolonged by countries around the world to contain the spread of COVID-19, women with violent partners increasingly find themselves isolated from the people and resources that can help them.”

Rekha Sharma (@sharmarekha), Chairperson, National Commission for Women, “While the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown have impacted everyone, there have been adverse effects on women and girls who may be victims of intimate partner violence. With social distancing norms in place, several women are unable to contact their regular support systems. This initiative by Twitter will provide big support to the survivors, who would otherwise be easily isolated without access to relevant information and help.”

Sharing her thoughts on this initiative, Mahima Kaul (@misskaul), Director, Public Policy, India and South Asia, Twitter, said, “New data shows that since the outbreak of COVID-19, violence against women and girlshas intensified in India and across the globe. We are aware that many suffering domestic violence are isolated at home with abusers, without friends or bystanders around them who can step in to help. We recognise collaboration with the public, government and NGOs is key to combating the complex issue of domestic violence. Accessing reliable information through this search prompt could be a survivor’s first step towards seeking help against abuse and violence.”

 

How to search and find credible information around domestic violence on Twitter

 

On app

●        Click on Explore tab

●        Type and enter your domestic violence-related keyword or query into the Search option on the top

●        A prompt on ‘ThereIsHelp’ will appear – click on it to access credible information and facts on the issue

 

On desktop

●        Go to Home

●        Type and enter your domestic violence-related keyword or query into the Search option on the top Right

●        A prompt on ‘ThereIsHelp will appear – click on it to access credible information and facts on the issue

Twitter’s support and outreach to the #EachOneReachOne initiative was driven by four key pillars bringing together multiple not for profits speaking on key issues on COVID-19. Reflecting on the power of the service, Twitter supported another pillar, focusing on domestic violence in the present times driven by Breakthrough India (@INBreakthrough).

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