Covid-19 & Domestic and Gender-Based Violence
A summary of the social consequences of Covid-19 and what they might mean for the ministry of the church for families and relationships.
from Canon (Gender), Daniela Gennrich, and Archdeacon Forbes Maupa  

Main patterns emerging during Lockdown so far:  

  • Many men may feel helpless and inadequate and fear not being able to protect or provide for their families – even more so given the collapsing economy and a rampant disease. Men and boys are not used to staying at home, and those with addictions have struggled with withdrawals, mood swings and violent outbursts. 
  • Women and girls are often expected to do all the household chores, to care for the sick and be teacher and mom and wife. They are cut off from their usual support of friends and church, and they may be more susceptible to depression;  
  • The 5-week lockdown has shown that families are fragile and relationships under pressure can quickly become toxic and violent, especially where there is fear, and/or people experience poverty and hunger, financial insecurities and/or addiction.  
  • School closure makes girls and teens even more vulnerable to sexual violence and unwanted pregnancy.  
  • Reporting of GBV has become impossible for many victims of domestic violence because of poverty and because of fear that it will get worse if their abuser finds out they are seeking help.  
While clergy and lay ministers are expected to minister into this situation, they also face many obstacles:  
  • Ordained and lay leaders are just as human as anyone, and so may be experiencing similar anxieties; 
  • The usual ways to do ministry are no longer possible, and reaching out telephonically or virtually can seem inadequate, particularly during times of family crises; 
  • Some clergy may already have been exhausted and over-worked before this crisis, and may have little energy to try to make sense of the times, while being expected to offer spiritual and pastoral guidance as their members are struggling with their faith.  

Any clergy or lay person needing advice on how to handle a violent or conflicted family situation can call on Canon Gender (Daniela Gennrich, 084581062 or 0724537502, or Archdeacon Forbes Maupa (0834040397, Alternaively you can report your concern to the Diocesan COVID-19 Task Team, that has been set up by the Vicar-General. 
FORMAL NOTICE: All parishes must be informed that in terms of discipline and judicial proceedings, where persons are unable to communicate their grievances to Parish Councils, Executives, Rector, Archdeacons or directly to the bishop (VG in their stead) during this lockdown down period, all timelines set for such reports will be suspended. Time lines will apply from the moment the matter is reported after lockdown. However, where matters are reported during this period, those in authority must endeavor to seek legal and canonical guidance timeously.  
We request that those priests who have been developing creative online liturgies and sermons (audio or visual), please SHARE those with Revd Sizwe Ngcobo ( for possible inclusion in a special collection of Worship Resources on the Diocesan website; 

Here are some national helplines during lockdown:  

GBV command centre: 0800 428 428  
Urgent victim response line: 0800 150 150
Send a Please Call Me to *120*7867#  
Skype Line ‘Helpme GBV’ for members of the deaf community: Add ‘Helpme GBV’ to your Skype contacts  
GBVCC: An SMS Based Line 31531 for persons with disabilities (SMS ‘help’ to 31531) 
Child line: 0800 055 555 
SAPS Crime Stop: 0860 10111 
GBVF-related service complaints (SAPS): 0800 333 177/ 
Commission for Gender Equality Toll-Free to report cases of gender abuse: 0800 007 709 
National AIDS Helpline: 0800 012 322 
National Human Trafficking Helpline: 0800 222 777 
Suicide Helpline: 0800 567 567 
National Department of Health:  
National Institute of Communicable Diseases:  
World Health Organisation: 
Coronavirus hotlines 
Covid-19 National Hotline: 0800 029 999
Corona Virus Resource:  
WhatsApp updates: 0600 123 456 
Mediclinic Covid-19 Hotline: 0860 240 024

Twitter: @DWYPD_ZA 
Instagram: @dwypdza 
Facebook: @dwypdza 

Other useful attachements:

A New Kairos? Make your voice heard! - Statement of Concerned Faith Leaders on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and Femicide 
Interfaith Brief on Teenage Pregnancy 
Interfaith Brief on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights 
Interfaith Brief on Gender-Based Violence 
Domestic Violence Safety Plan