UN Women launches online video campaign ‘The virus of indifference kills’

41 per cent of the population in Georgia think that domestic violence is a family matter. A new campaign by UN Women challenges the status quo and calls everyone not to stay indifferent to violence against women.

Date: Monday, December 21, 2020

At first glance, home may seem as the safest place for everyone, but many women and girls can face danger right under their own roofs. This has been especially true during the pandemic, as the virus-induced lockdowns and isolation have put many women and girls at risk of violence every day all over the world, including in Georgia.

Violence against women and girls was quite a widespread and severe problem even before COVID-19, and the role of society has always been crucial for addressing it, however, it is more important now than ever. Timely and adequate response and action by everyone can save many women’s lives, whether she is a neighbour, a friend or an acquaintance.

As part of the global 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, UN Women emphasizes the role of society in an online campaign “The virus of indifference kills”, which is implemented with the support of the European Union.

Within the framework of the online campaign, UN Women produced six videos which were written by famous Georgian authors Nestan Nene Kvinikadze and Lasha Bugadze. The stories describe various forms of violence against women and domestic violence with scenes and situations that bring the audience very close to reality.

The video “Auditorium” revolves around the same story seen from the different perspectives of three characters. Ms. Kvinikadze explains the story: “This is my version of what they might have felt and thought a few hours before their hardest moment. This is my attempt to get too close to the victim, to the perpetrator and to the direct or indirect eyewitness.” She describes another story she wrote which is based on a real-life tragedy as an “attempt to intensify sensitivity and compassion within society where judgment is passed by indifference – where the loud music is more annoying than a woman screaming, and where a perpetrator is always a ‘good guy’ for the neighbour.”

According to the National Study on Violence against Women carried out by UN Women and Geostat, one in seven women in Georgia have experienced violence from a husband or a partner. At the same time, the degree of public indifference to this problem remains high in the country. According to the same study, 41 per cent of the population think that domestic violence is a family matter.

The campaign is part of the project “Ending Violence against Women and Girls in Georgia”, which is implemented by UN Women in cooperation with UNFPA, with the financial support of the European Union. The project aims to improve the policy and legislation needed to prevent and respond to domestic violence and violence against women, as well as to build the capacity of relevant institutions. At the same time, the project aims to change negative gender stereotypes, social norms and attitudes within society to support women’s rights and to promote gender equality.