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Photography Harley Weir, Styling Robbie Spencer

Rihanna donates £1.67 million to help domestic violence victims in lockdown

The singer continues to provide aid for those affected by coronavirus, at a time of surging domestic violence rates

Rihanna has given over $2 million (or £1.67 million) to the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles, in aid of domestic violence victims affected by nationwide coronavirus lockdowns. The announcement, through the singer’s charity, the Clara Lionel Foundation, came April 9.

The donation – along with a matching donation from Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey – will fund support for ten weeks, including shelter, meals, and counselling, at a time when domestic violence rates have spiked worldwide.

A spokesperson for a domestic violence organisation in south Los Angeles has previously spoken to the Los Angeles Times, calling the pandemic – and subsequent orders to self-isolate – “a worst-case scenario” for those in an abusive relationship. As well as victims being trapped indoors with abusers, other results of the virus, such as job losses and school closures, may also contribute to increased rates of violence.

Since coronavirus lockdowns began, domestic violence rates have noticeably increased across the world. Speaking to the BBC, the UK charity Refuge has reported a 25% increase in calls and online requests for help to the National Domestic Abuse helpline. 

French authorities, meanwhile, have reported more than a 30 per cent rise in domestic violence cases since the measures were put in place, and in China cases have seen a similar surge.

The donation from Rihanna’s charity comes on top of a more than £4 million pledge to worldwide coronavirus efforts, and another £600,000 to help with the response in Barbados.

Rihanna has also joined Jay-Z – whose Reform Alliance has recently donated masks to US prisons – in providing a $2 million donation for “undocumented workers, children of frontline health workers and first responders, and incarcerated, elderly and homeless people” in New York City and Los Angeles.