Press Release: WAVE Policy Statement on COVID-19 and Violence against Women and Girls

Vienna, 12 May – WAVE Network, Vienna-based European network of women’s NGOs working in the field of combating violence against women and children, has released a policy statement on COVID-19 and violence against women and girls (VAWG).

WAVE members report that since the outbreak of COVID-19, reports of violence against women, and particularly domestic violence, have increased dramatically in several countries. The crisis has a disproportionate impact on women that are particularly vulnerable to the negative social and economic impact of the crisis, including women of colour, migrant and refugee women, Roma women, and LGBTQ+ persons, as well as women of poor and working-class background.

Women’s specialist services have also been affected due to the current health crisis because of increased demand for services and the need to administer essential services differently, in order to comply with restrictions in movement and social distancing.

WAVE Network calls for preparing for the long-term consequences of the crisis and its implications for violence against women and girls. In its recommendations, WAVE Policy Statement on COVID-19 and Violence against Women and Girls calls for:

  • The Istanbul Convention to play a key role in adopting a gender-sensitive, victim-centred and human rights-based response to the crisis;
  • EU and its member states to accelerate the conclusion of the EU’s accession to the Istanbul Convention;
  • revisiting the EU Gender Equality Strategy 2020–2025, drafted before the current health crisis, in order to ensure that it adequately responds to the new and emerging needs presented by the COVID-19 and its impact on women and girls, particularly women already experiencing multiple discrimination;
  • the collection of sex-disaggregated data which is imperative in order to fully understand the disproportionate impact of the crisis on VAWG.


The full WAVE Policy Statement can be accessed here.

For more information contact WAVE Office at:
Tel: +43 676 3902898