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‘Groundbreaking’ Lesotho study reveals high cost of domestic violence

Recommendations included training health staff, teachers and the private sector, improving data collection and enacting a long-awaited domestic violence bill.

Scotland has made tackling domestic violence a key plank of her leadership of the Commonwealth, an alliance of 54 countries that are home to more than 1 billion women and girls.

The Lesotho study revealed not only the direct costs of domestic violence, but also the broader economic impact.

It said victims’ annual income losses – which exceeded $20 million – lead to reduced spending power which have knock-on effects on the wider economy, while missed school affected girls’ future earning potential.

Scotland hoped the greater global focus on domestic abuse, which has soared during lockdowns to curb the spread of coronavirus, would spur more governments to take action.

“The consequences are not just for this generation but for the generations to come,” she said.

“All the data shows us that if we do not have peace in our homes we haven’t got a hope of having real peace in our world.”

Scotland said domestic violence cut across all sections of society and urged everyone from bosses to religious leaders not to turn a blind eye.

“If it is one in three women that this is happening to, how many women do you and I know? Do not say ‘this is not my business’. It is absolutely everybody’s business,” she said. ($1 = 16.9063 Lesotho lotis) (Reporting by Emma Batha //news.trust.org)

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