Domestic Violence: A Hidden War During COVID-19
The whole world was running in its place. Each one of us was busy with our life and its style. One day, an uninvited guest arrived without notice. Knocked our doors, entered our space, and locked us down till no further notice of re-opening the doors. Corona Virus or COVID-19, our uninvited guest!
With this pandemic, we are all shut in our homes. At first, the lockdown seemed unbearable to all of us. But gradually, we got habituated to work in pajamas and tees. Some of us are enjoying the lockdown with our family. Some are reliving their old hobbies and some are trying a hand on something new.
But…………not everyone who is at home, is happy!
According to the Crime in India Report 2018, published by the National Crimes Research Bureau (NCRB), every 4.4 minutes a girl is subjected to domestic violence.
Domestic violence has been an age-old problem across the globe. Educated or uneducated, rich or poor, every second house has at least one case of domestic violence.
The problem of domestic violence did not see any such room of improvement when the doors were open and victims were free to express their problem. Now, when the culprit and victim are 24*7 together, the number of cases has shown high growth. The culprit feels free thinking that the police are involved somewhere else. The victim feels scared to report cases, thinking that this might increase violence against them.
The states like Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, and Bihar tops the list with the highest number of cases of domestic violence during this lockdown.
The complainants are mostly using emails to register their complaints. This shows that they are afraid of being overheard by their culprit. Thus, the chance of being unheard is more with women having no access to the internet.
Possible Reasons for Increase in Cases.
The possible reasons are many and are diversified over the length and breadth of the country.
- Not cooking properly or on time.
- Refusing to have sex.
- Not looking after in-laws.
- More income of the working women than her partner.
The NCW reported a steep rise of total complaints from women rising from 116 in the first week of March (March 2- 8) to 257 in the final week (March 23-April 1) when the lockdown was in full effect. Chairperson of NCW , Rekha Sharma said that cases were maximum in northern states of India.
UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, recently exhorted to help create safe ways for women to seek support without alerting their abusers, set up emergency warning systems for abused women and easy access to pharmacies and food stores, increase spending for online services and civil society organizations to help those abused, and declare shelters an essential service.
If you witness any such violence around you, do not be a mute spectator. Help the victim and report it as early as possible.