FRIDAY, March 01, 2024
nationthailand

Twitter launches #ThereIsHelp hashtag for women, girls trapped in violent situations during lockdown

Twitter launches #ThereIsHelp hashtag for women, girls trapped in violent situations during lockdown

In response to a surge in violence against women and children globally as a result of Covid-19 outbreak-related lockdowns, Twitter launched local-language search prompts in seven countries in the Asia Pacific region, including Thailand, today (June 16).

This prompt redirects Twitter users searching for keywords associated with gender-based violence to local hotlines where they can seek help as well as a list of NGOs that can provide the support they need.
“During Covid-19, domestic violence in Thailand has increased 66 per cent. This is a serious issue that everyone must be aware of. With Twitter’s #ThereIsHelp initiative, we hope those in need will be heard and reached and that it has a positive impact in reducing this problem nationwide,” said Dr Ratchada Jayagupta, senior researcher and lecturer at Chulalongkorn University’s Institute of Asian Studies as well as Thailand’s representative at the Asean Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Women and Children (ACWC).
Building on its notification service related to mental health and suicide prevention, vaccination, child sexual exploitation and now Covid-19, Twitter is the first social-media platform to launch a dedicated domestic violence-based search prompt and support in local languages in Asia Pacific.
“Twitter is pleased to launch this unique product feature dedicated to addressing gender-based violence,” said Kathleen Reen, senior director of Public Policy and Philanthropy at Twitter. “We are honoured to collaborate with critical partners across the region and are deeply grateful for their support. We look forward to supporting them in their efforts to reach and aid their communities during Covid-19 and beyond.”
Twitter, in partnership with UN Women Asia Pacific, which plays an advisory role, is providing this service in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea and Vietnam and plans to expand it to cover other countries across the region.
According to the latest report from UN Women, 243 million women and girls aged between 15 and 49 globally have been subjected to sexual and/or physical violence perpetrated by an intimate partner in the past 12 months. Emerging data shows that since the outbreak of Covid-19, violence against women and girls had intensified across the globe.
“Violence against women and girls across Asia Pacific is pervasive, but at the same time widely under reported. Globally, one in three women experience violence at least once in their lifetime. In fact, in many countries in our region, the number is even greater, with as many as two out of three women in some countries reporting experiences of violence,” said Melissa Alvarado, UN Women Asia Pacific regional manager on ending violence against women (@unwomenasia).
“Less than four in 10 women experiencing such violence actually report these crimes or seek help of any sort. As lockdowns and stay-at-home orders are getting extended by many countries to contain the spread of Covid-19, women with violent partners increasingly find themselves isolated from the people and resources that can help them.
“At UN Women, we hear that keeping services open has been difficult in many countries. We are pleased to team up with Twitter to help connect women to local services currently available in their countries if they are experiencing violence or abuse,” Alvarado said.
National data from India suggests that violence against women and girls has risen more than two-fold in at least four states in the north, while reported cases in Indonesia has increased three-fold. Hotlines for women and children in Malaysia have also reported a 57 per cent increase in calls, while similar trends are being seen in Singapore and South Korea as well.
Recognising that collaboration with public, private and non-profit organisations is key to combating this complex issue, UN Women believes this partnership with Twitter via #ThereIsHelp will contribute to the effort of ensuring people can access and receive support when they need it the most.
In Thailand, Twitter is partnering with:
• Pavena Foundation for Children and Women: An NGO with the primary purpose of helping alleviate the suffering of Thai women and children who were raped or forced into prostitution domestically or overseas.
• Friends of Women Foundation: An NGO that provides information, support, referral and emergency financial help to women who have been victims of exploitation, violence and trafficking.
• Social Assistance Centre: A 24-hour service run by the Social Development and Human Security Ministry to receive reports related to social problems, including domestic violence, human trafficking, child abuse, neglect and exploitation.
The centre’s director, Sanongvitt Phuvonthamart said: “The centre is pleased to work wth Twitter to launch the #ThereIsHelp search prompt that provides key hotline numbers for women and children who need help. It’s important that people who are struggling are seen and hear so they can get the help they need.”

RELATED
nationthailand