The Moroccan Federation of Women’s Rights’ Leagues (FLDF) announced on Tuesday that violence against women in Morocco increased by 31.6% during the state of health emergency, which started in March, compared to the same period in 2019.
Moroccan organizations have recorded a total of 4,663 acts of violence against women since March. The FLDF announced the figures during a meeting in Rabat ahead of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, November 25.
According to the NGO, 47.9% of the recorded acts included psychological violence, 26.9% concerned economic violence, and 15.2% involved physical violence.
Psychological violence takes several forms, including coercion, defamation, and verbal insults or harassment.
Meanwhile, economic violence can take the form of restricting access to financial resources, education, or the labor market, in addition to not complying with economic responsibilities, such as alimonies.
The FLDF counted 709 acts of physical violence against women in Morocco this year, including one homicide and one attempted homicide. The Moroccan association also highlighted a 5.1% increase in acts of sexual violence compared to 2019.
The President of FLDF, Latifa Bouchoua, warned that the figures do not give an accurate image of the prevalance of violence against women in Morocco. A large number of victims do not report the violent acts committed against them, she said.
A few days before Morocco entered a nationwide lockdown on March 20, the FLDF launched a legal and psychological counseling platform for women victims of violence.
The platform, launched on March 16, has so far received 1,774 phone calls from 1,038 different women across Morocco, Bouchoua announced.
The initiative also allowed various institutions to coordinate 554 interventions to support victims and condemn perpetrators, the activist added.
The FLDF has collaborated with several institutions, including Morocco’s Public Prosecution Office, the Ministry of Solidarity, and the regional health directorates, to provide women victims of violence with support services.
In light of the alarming figures, Morocco has officially joined UNESCO’s Orange the World Campaign. The 16-day global initiative from November 25 to December 10 aims to raise awareness about the gravity of violence against women.
“Morocco condemns all forms of abuse and violence against women and girls and remains committed to promoting a violence-free [world],” the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced Wednesday.
Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani also chaired the launch ceremony of a national campaign that will go in parallel with the global initiative.
Under the theme “Moroccans united against violence against women,” the national campaign will include several meetings and conferences to raise awareness about the issue.