The COVID-19 pandemic is largely concentrated in cities and urban areas, with around 2,600 cities globally reporting at least one case of the disease. While the epicentre of the global health crisis is still Europe and North America, its impact on developing countries may be more devastating, especially for the poorest. The 1 billion+ people living in slums and slum-like settings in developing countries, where population density is high, are those most at-risk and least prepared. 

The COVID-19 pandemic presents a global crisis that is exacerbating gender (and other) injustices and increasing violence against women (VAW). Activist organizations have an essential role to play during this tumultuous time. Sustained VAW prevention work remains vital—as does addressing the immediate risks to women posed by lockdowns and other COVID-19 requirements which can exacerbate violence, isolate survivors and limit access to essential services.

This note sets out a number of alternative entry points for providing survivors with non-phone, low/ no tech options to alert trustworthy stakeholders of their need for GBV services given the restrictions on movement as a result of COVID-19. It also provides ideas for linking such ‘alert systems’ with remote GBV support providers.