The current COVID-19 pandemic represents a great social and economic disruption to all human
beings, affecting disproportionally women and girls due to widespread pre-existing discrimination and
inequalities

. Every crisis creates inequalities and aggravates older ones, such as the inequalities
existing against women and girls. It is necessary for states to step up their efforts and increase the
measures to protect women and girls victims of violence.

Home is not always a safe place for women and their children, and they are especially at-risk during
lockdown, as they cannot escape their abusers. A grave concern is that social distancing and
confinement rules imposed by national governments have triggered additional risks of domestic
violence.

The present guidelines are to support the national government and service providers in Albania, Bosnia
and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey to better respond to the
needs of women and their children, girls’ victims of violence to the effects of the lockdown measures
in light of the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. These guidelines are to be applicable also after the
lockdown measures are lifted.

The guidelines are prepared by CSSP partners and WAVE Network, in frame of the Civil Society
Strengthening Platform project, a project ongoing in 7 countries in the Western Balkans and Turkey,
supported in frame of the European Union and UN Women programme ‘Implementing norms,
changing minds’
.

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