As lockdown continues in the US, singer Rihanna donates nearly two million pounds to help victims
We are not worthy of Rihanna, that much we know already. For many years she has been saving the world from a lack of body diversity and inclusion, and now the star has donated $2.1 million (that’s £1.67m) to assist victims affected by domestic violence during the coronavirus lockdown.
The singer has teamed up with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to give a total of $4.2 million (£3.3m) to the Mayor’s Fund in Los Angeles. Their combined donations will help to cover meals, shelter and counselling for families affected by coronavirus for 10 weeks. Amazing.
The city’s shelters for victims of domestic abuse have been overcrowded during the ongoing pandemic, with reports that the LA Housing Authority has had to turn away 90 people a week since the city was ordered to stay at home during the lockdown.
A tweet from Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation read, ‘We’re standing with all those affected by increased incidents of domestic violence as a result of the Covid-19 Safer At Home Order in Los Angeles.’
Days earlier, Jack pledged to donate a $1bn (£800m) to fund coronavirus research. The tech mogul, who co-founded Twitter in 2006 and later created payments company Square, confirmed that he was donating the amount of Square shares, saying, ‘After we disarm this pandemic, the focus will shift to girl’s health and education, and UBI.’
And while he is worth approximately $3.9bn, the businessman said the donation was equivalent to about ‘28% of my wealth.’ It marks the biggest single donation to the global fight against coronavirus to date.
Meanwhile Rihanna’s cosmetics company Fenty Beauty tweeted, ‘We are doing our part to help fund emergency response around the world as a partner with Clara Lionel Foundation. 100% of purchases from our CLF Makeup Organizer goes to @ClaraLionelFdn’.
Stamping out domestic abuse is of significant importance to the entrepreneur , as she is a survivor herself. In 2009 Rhianna was attacked by her then-boyfriend Chris Brown, after a brutal argument on the night before the 2009 Grammy Awards (Rihanna discovered a text from a woman Brown had been in a sexual relationship with.)
A police report of the incident stated Brown hit Rihanna’s head against the car window, punched and choked her, bit her ear and threatened to kill her. Both were scheduled to perform the next day at the Grammys and both cancelled.
Since the coronavirus outbreak, domestic violence rates across the globe have risen. Women’s charity Refuge told Marie Claire there has been a 25 per cent rise in phone calls to the National Domestic Abuse Helpline since lockdown began in the UK.
And while the home secretary Priti Patel says the Home Office is to provide an extra two million pounds for domestic abuse helplines and online support during coronavirus, Solace – the capital’s largest provider of domestic abuse services – says this simply isn’t enough to save lives.
Fiona Dwyer, chief executive of Solace Women’s Aid, told The Guardian violence will continue with such little help from the government. Criticising the home secretary, she said, ‘Priti Patel, saying that victims of domestic abuse don’t have to stay in the house, they can just leave, shows she has no understanding of the dynamics of domestic abuse, and no interest in it either.’