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The Intersections of Economic Insecurity and Sexual Violence in the COVID Era

A box of four separate individuals wearing masks, looking in different directions

In any crisis situation, survivors of sexual violence face unique needs and burdens. Due to the unpredictability of disasters, access to services and successful sexual violence prevention measures are delayed, leaving many to fall through the cracks as rates of sexual violence increase. The UN recently coined the term “the shadow pandemic” to refer to the increase in sexual violence, which has been an unfortunate result of COVID-19.

With this pandemic still running its course, and many people facing economic burden brought on by the crisis, the exact financial impact of the crisis is still unknown. As with any disaster, survivors of sexual violence are already overburdened, and the economic strain from COVID-19 now creates new risks, new barriers in access to help and services, and greater challenges in the survivor’s journey to healing and wellness. As researchers Burke, Ayers & Passi note, “the fiscal impact of [the pandemic on] sexual violence is staggering as survivors are already facing economic devastation.” Survivors of rape, sexual assault, and abuse face new and changing financial conditions as a result of the global pandemic.  

The following blog collection is in no way an exhaustive list, but does help to showcase the distinctive influence COVID-19 has had in the lives of survivors and across communities.

In Blog 1, we explore "Economics as a Factor in Sexual Violence."

Blog 2 analyzes the relationship between "COVID-19 and Survivors of Color."

Blog 3 showcases "How COVID-19 Impacts Children & Teens."

And finally, Blog 4 explains "Why COVID- 19 is Triggering for Survivors."

For more information on health disparities during the COVID-19 pandemic, check out our “COVID-19 and Health Equity” podcast series, as well as our Resources for Covid-19 Response toolkit.