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This paper provides a preliminary understanding of how the Covid-19 pandemic influences the prevalence of VAW within Asia and the Pacific. The structure of the paper is as follows: the second section provides background on VAW in Asia and the Pacific. The third section describes the theoretical basis for why the Covid-19 pandemic is expected to increase women’s risk of violence. The fourth section describes policy responses to prevent, reduce and support victims of VAW prior to the pandemic as recommended by international sources and as practiced in the region. The fifth section compiles existing evidence of increases in VAW thus far in Asia-Pacific. The remaining sections discuss measures taken by governments and civil society organizations to prevent VAW and support survivors both prior to during the pandemic. Finally, policy recommendations to address the “shadow pandemic” are provided. If governments in Asia-Pacific wish to uphold their commitments to advancing gender equality and eliminating VAW, they must protect women’s safety even during times of crisis.

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