View all news

Raising Awareness of a Hidden Problem and Highlighting Services for Families

September 30, 2020

Since April 9, when we launched the COVID-19 Global Community Support Fund, Newmont has spent or committed over $9 million in the areas of Workforce and Community Health; Food Security; and Local Economic Resilience to support host communities and countries fight the pandemic. An area where regional offices have dedicated some of the Fund is to an unexpected and difficult side effect of the pandemic: a significant increase in family and domestic violence (FDV). Research shows that FDV can increase by 30% or more during natural disasters and major societal disruptions.

According to the United Nations: The combination of economic and social stresses brought on by the pandemic, as well as restrictions on movement, have dramatically increased the numbers of women and girls facing abuse, in almost all countries. Since the pandemic, the UN is reporting that Lebanon and Malaysia, for example, have seen the number of calls to helplines double, compared with the same month last year; in China they have tripled; and in Australia, search engines such as Google are seeing the highest magnitude of searches for domestic violence help in the past five years.

The Newmont COVID-19 Global Community Support Fund has supported agencies helping individuals seeking safer environments in three countries and we are actively discussing further opportunities in additional jurisdictions where we operate.

Family and domestic violence services have reported:

  • Higher rates of service access, particularly among first-time users
  • Limitations on moving victims out of their communities due to travel restrictions – leading to victims remaining in the same areas as perpetrators

COVID-19 has led to an increase in family and domestic violence due to:

  • Increased financial stress
  • Lockdown/quarantine measures
  • Mental health issues
  • Increased drug and alcohol consumption