Webinar #10: The Impact of Reopening Communities on Supportive Services


GNWS COVID-19 Webinar Series


  • Vera Vieira – Associação Mulheres pela Paz (Brazil)
  • Ranhee Song – Korea Women’s Hotline (South Korea)
  • Cindy Southworth – National Network to End Domestic Violence (United States)
  • Maria Yusuf – Association for Women’s Sanctuary and Development (Ethiopia)

Staffed by:

  • Ashley Slye – USA
  • Patricia Vargas – Canada



Vera shared a pharmacy initiative that involves over 10,000 participating pharmacies across the country. The concept is simple yet effective: when a woman goes to a pharmacy and writes x on her hand, employees are trained to call the police and bring the woman to safety.

South Korea

Ranhee talked about the pandemic situation with a focus on domestic violence. In South Korea, since only 2.3% of cases of domestic violence are reported to police, it is hard to judge whether cases increased or decreased; nevertheless, Ranhee believes that there has been an increase in cases as the ratio of domestic violence counseling rose from 26% in January to 40% in March.

Handling and bringing justice to domestic violence cases also face the challenge of deep-set attitudes and judicial barriers in South Korea. Emotional abuse is not recognized as “abuse” within Korea’s judicial system, and yet the rate of emotional abuse is four times higher than that of physical abuse. Rather punishing the abusers, physical abuse cases are usually dealt with through counseling. Even if incidents of domestic violence are reported, most of them are disposed of or filed as “household protection case”. Ranhee concludes that, during a global pandemic, Korea may be relatively safe from COVID-19, but not from domestic violence.

United States

Cindy shared the Women’s Helpline Project, which aims to create a worldwide women’s safety net. The initiative will involve a global database that would help women find resources for domestic violence that could be filtered by country or by topic (e.g. for LGBT women, migrant women, etc.). Taiwan is on the list of countries that have shared data with the helpline database. Furthermore, Facebook is partnering with UN women to start a list of domestic violence helplines: facebook.com/safety/domestic violence resources

Vera shared a pharmacy initiative that involves over 10,000 participating pharmacies across the country. The concept is simple yet effective: when a woman goes to a pharmacy and writes x on her hand, employees are trained to call the police and bring the woman to safety.


12 shelters across the country, servicing 110 million people, have closed due to COVID-19. The association has opened a quarantine shelter where women can stay for 14 days – if they are negative they could be transferred to other shelters. This quarantine shelter is always full and domestic violence cases have increased. An emergency court room has been opened that can process domestic violence cases Media attention on the shelters has also led people to raise funds to support.


Previous Webinar Recordings

20 May 2020: https://bit.ly/GNWS_8

6 May 2020: https://youtu.be/k2h0XGANrHM

29 April 2020: https://bit.ly/GNWS_6

22 April 2020: https://bit.ly/serving_survivors

15 April 2020: https://bit.ly/GNWS_4

8 April 2020: https://bit.ly/GNWSTech

1 April 2020: https://bit.ly/316uCpk

25 March 2020: https://bit.ly/30YhOBb

Provide Feedback on Webinars 

This brief 2-3 minute survey will help the GNWS develop future webinars in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. We appreciate your feedback.



Register for Upcoming Webinars

Heading Off the Risk of Exploitation

After natural disasters we know the risk of exploitation rises. What we don’t know is how the COVID-19 pandemic will impact the risk of exploitation. Questions that will be addressed in this webinar include: Is there evidence that the pandemic has increased human trafficking? What has been the experience in different parts of the world? How can we be more vigilant to stop exploitation of victims? And what lessons can be shared to prevent vulnerable people falling into the hands of organized crime? This webinar will discuss preparing for the aftermath of the pandemic, ideas for reducing exploitation of vulnerable/targeted populations, and ways NGOs can support exploited individuals.

1 July 2020

10:00 AM Washington, DC | 3:00 PM London, UK | 5:00 PM Istanbul, TU | 7:30 PM Mumbai, IN | 10:00 PM Hong Kong | 12:00 AM Sydney, AU


15 July 2020

7:00 PM Washington, DC | 12:00 AM London, UK | 2:00 AM Istanbul, TU | 4:30 AM Mumbai, IN | 7:00 AM Hong Kong | 9:00 AM Sydney, AU

The link below can help you find the time the webinar will be held in your time zone.


Sign up for the GNWS Listserv

If you are not on the listserv, you can sign-up by clicking the following link: https://lists.gnws.org/lists/subscribe/announcement.


Global Network of Women’s Shelters Helpline Project

As mentioned on the webinar, GNWS is collecting the national helpline for every country so victims and their friends and family have a place to find accurate support. Even if your country doesn’t have a national helpline, we want to know! In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are also asking about text, chat, and email helplines. Please take a few minutes to complete this brief form so we can continue to update our list of helplines. If you have already completed the form, thank you so much. Your information is greatly appreciated!

Form in English: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc3ykdy9kjBqce58cGvFmpKv6DHiblZNnnWH6m0vmoqcAb67A/viewform

Forma en Español: https://forms.gle/X6Rw6hHM7Lo6SmC57

List of helplines listed on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/safety/domesticviolenceresources