Increase of Domestic Violence during Worldwide Quarantine - Suhani Srivastava

The United Nations defines domestic violence as “a pattern of behaviour in any

relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate

partner. Abuse is physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions or

threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviours that

frighten, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure, or wound

someone.” Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence, regardless of sex, race,

sexual orientation, faith or class. It affects people of all socioeconomic background

and education levels.


As the world shuts down due to the ongoing pandemic, many people, especially

women, are trapped with their abusers at home. In addition to violation of human

rights, victims of domestic violence are at risk of several physical and mental health

problems such as chronic disease, depression, sexual disorders, post-traumatic

stress disorder and substance abuse.


The UN says cases of domestic violence have increased by 20% during the global

pandemic. Recent data released by the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA)

tells us that Uttarakhand recorded the highest number of domestic violence cases,

with Haryana and New Delhi being at the second and third ranks, respectively.

Reportedly, men are frustrated over the current pandemic and how it is affecting

their jobs and income which is causing them to inflict abuse upon women and

children.


These alarming figures represent only those who were able to reach out for help,

but there are many who don’t due to the fear of their partners. Not relying on the

police and government helplines, various NGOs and small, rural organisations have

taken matters into their own hands by setting up small hotlines and visiting houses

to look into the financial and emotional condition of several poor households.

Women in West Bank, an area bordered by Jordan and Israel, come out their houses

and bang pots and pans to let the vulnerable women and children know that they’re

not alone, and also that their homes will always be open for guidance and help.

The Covid-19 pandemic shouldn’t be used as an excuse for these acts of crimes

against humanity. Domestic violence has been happening since a long time and

cases do get reported but few make it to the court and even few are served justice.

But one should know they’re rights and that they don’t have to endure abuse

inflicted by someone who’s supposed to provide love and care. Any victim of abuse

should remember that it is not them who’s to blame. Violence is unacceptable and

the perpetrator is 100% responsible for his tactics of inflicting pain and suffering.

Reaching out to others is an important thing to do especially during these

troublesome times. It is critical that helpless individuals are protected during these

times. This is a traumatic time for all and only when we join hands and stand

together, can we save ourselves and our loved ones.


If you know anyone who’s a victim of domestic violence, then carefully reach out.

Here are some helpline numbers to aid anyone who might need them:

Central Social Welfare Board- 1091/ 1291, (011) 23317004

Shakti Shalini (women’s shelter)- (011) 24373736/ 24373737

Sakshi (violence intervention center)- (0124) 2562336/ 5018873

Nari Raksha Samiti- (011) 23973949


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