Covid Update: Czech Post - Postal workers and couriers could be close to domestic violence cases

ROSA, the Prague based non-profit organization initiated an unprecedented campaign against domestic violence during the pandemic and lockdown period.

It provided Czech Post´s employees and workers from seven other delivery companies training on how to recognize signs of domestic violence and how to help potential victims.

Domestic violence usually takes place behind closed doors and often the only ones who can help in such cases are neighbours or couriers and postmen. From mid-March to mid-April, twice as many calls were received on the crisis line in comparison with the same period last year, and the length of the calls tripled.

A leaflet with instructions on how to help was published in Czech Post´s internal newsletter. It warns that victims can have bruises or be shy to speak in the presence of a partner. During deliveries, postal workers should pay attention to any signs of shouting or strange noises from the apartment. If confronted with the potential victim, they should ask questions in such a way, that it could be answered only with a “yes“, “no“, or by nodding, so that the conversation is kept brief and not raise suspicion.

Postal workers can also recommend the Bright Sky mobile application, developed by ROSA in cooperation with the police, the Ministry of Interior and the Vodafone Foundation, to people in need.  The app was based on a British model. The application includes contacts to the nearest help sources or a diary, where victims can record their injuries, videos or audio recordings. Since February, more than 700 people have downloaded this application and more than half of them have also used the test.

The plan to launch the campaign was officially presented in April 2020 by ROSA, the Czech Government Commissioner for human rights, Helena Válková, and Chair of the Government Committee for the Rights of the Child, Branislava Marvánová Vargová.

Source: Czech Post (27. 5. 2020), based on Czech Radio (2. 5. 2020) and iDNES (16. 4. 2020)

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