Pope Francis Brands Men Who Beat Women as 'Almost Satanic'
According to UN Women, incidents of domestic or sexual violence against girls and women have skyrocketed during the coronavirus pandemic, particularly due to strict lockdowns that have practically trapped women with their abusers at home.
Pope Francis has condemned men who engage in violence against women, branding them "almost satanic" during a Sunday programme on the Italian network TG5.
"The problem is that, for me, it is almost satanic because it is taking advantage of a person who cannot defend herself, who can only [try to] block the blows", he said. "It is humiliating. Very humiliating".
Pope Francis was part of a dialogue with several people with difficult backgrounds, discussing domestic violence and how the numbers of such incidents have soared during the coronavirus pandemic. This is not the first time the Pontiff has addressed the issue, but Sunday's remarks have already been noted by many observers as being the head of the Catholic Church's strongest language against domestic violence to date.
Per the Pontiff, abused and beaten women have not lost their dignity, and pointed to "very, very high" numbers of such incidents.
Italian police figures cited by Reuters showed last month that about 90 episodes of violence against women are reported in the country every single day, with 62% of them being cases of domestic violence.
UN Women has decried domestic violence a "shadow pandemic" in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic throwing many nations into lockdowns, therefore trapping many women at home with their abusers and facing limited access to help due to increased efforts to battle COVID. Even before the global coronavirus outbreak, according to the organisation, 1 in 3 women had experienced physical or sexual violence - mainly by an intimate partner.