Popstar Rihanna, aka Robyn Fenty, is making a number of large financial contributions to relief efforts related to the COVID-19 coronavirus. Last month, her Clara Lionel Foundation donated $5 million to different charities involved in the relief effort, including one that helped provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to New York Hospitals. Her contribution was even recognized by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
I want to thank @rihanna and the Rihanna Foundation for donating Personal Protective Equipment to New York State.
We're so appreciative of your help and that of so many others who have stepped up.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) March 26, 2020
Last week, her foundation teamed up with Jay-Z’s Shawn Carter Foundation to donate another $2 million to help support people who often slip through the cracks in times like these, including undocumented workers, homeless, and people who are in jail. A portion of those donations also go towards supporting the children of frontline health workers and first responders.
This week, her foundation has made another sizeable donation, this time to a fund that will assist domestic violence victims in the Los Angeles area. Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey will be matching her $2.1 million donation, making the total contribution $4.2 million. The donations will help people suffering from domestic violence with ten weeks of support, including shelter, meals, and counseling.
We're joining forces with Twitter/Square CEO @Jack today by co-funding $4.2 million grant to the @MayorsFundLA to address the current crisis for domestic violence victims in Los Angeles as a result of the COVID-19 Safer at Home Order. #startsmall #CLF pic.twitter.com/JKoKb60N3n
— Clara Lionel Fdn (@ClaraLionelFdn) April 9, 2020
According to a statement announcing the donations, “these funds will provide 10 weeks of support including shelter, meals and, counseling for individuals and their children suffering from domestic violence at a time when shelters are full and incidents are on the rise. The Los Angeles Housing Authority has determined that approximately 90 people per week (in addition to their children, in many cases) have been turned away from domestic violence shelters in Los Angeles since the Safer at Home Order was issued. At approximately $125 per day, the grant will cover housing and food for 90 domestic violence victims per week, with an additional 90 victims every week thereafter for 10 weeks. “
“Although they are starting in Los Angeles, victims of domestic violence exist all across the world, so this is just the beginning,” the statement added.
Last week, the United Nations warned that domestic violence has been on the rise around the world amid the coronavirus lockdown.
In a statement last Sunday, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said, “Violence is not confined to the battlefield. For many women and girls, the threat looms largest where they should be safest — in their own homes,” he said, appealing “for peace at home — and in homes — around the world. We know lockdowns and quarantines are essential to suppressing COVID-19, but they can trap women with abusive partners. Over the past weeks, as the economic and social pressures and fear have grown, we have seen a horrifying surge in domestic violence.”
Peace is not just the absence of war. Many women under lockdown for #COVID19 face violence where they should be safest: in their own homes.
Today I appeal for peace in homes around the world.
I urge all governments to put women’s safety first as they respond to the pandemic. pic.twitter.com/PjDUTrMb9v
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) April 6, 2020
According to Voice of America, increased domestic violence figures were recorded in France and Africa since the lockdowns began. In South Africa, authorities received nearly 90,000 reports of violence against women in the first week of a lockdown. The UN reported that Lebanon and Malaysia have also seen the number of calls double from the figures of the year before, and in China, those numbers have tripled.
In Australia, Google data indicated that there was a 75% increase in online searches for help with domestic violence.