RISE IN DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AMID THE LOCKDOWN

By Kriti Khurana

(20/05/2020 20:00 IST)

Women, since time immemorial have been subjected to domestic abuse, the cycle of violence which emerges for the most insignificant of reasons yet destroys lives and families, hollowing the society in the most horrific ways. Domestic violence in India does not only limit itself to the middle or lower classes, it can be witnessed among the upper class as well. Sometimes, the cases are not reported by women due to the fear of their family falling apart. Pressure from the family and lack of community support are the key elements which have kept this inhumane practice alive even in the 21st century.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, majority of the world’s population has been given the orders to stay at their respective niches. These guidelines, though extremely necessary at the moment, are very much likely to give impetus to the acts of domestic abuse. According to some recent reports by WHO, reports by different countries show that there has been a horrifying 60% increase in emergency calls by women, subjected to violence by their spouses in April this year, compared to last.

As for in India, amid the coronavirus lockdown, Uttarakhand recorded the highest number of domestic violence cases, a total of 144. Followed by Harayana where 79 cases of domestic violence have been recorded during the lockdown. The national capital Delhi ranks third with a total of 63 cases as of mid of May 2020.

The state of Odisha has taken the rightful measures to keep the number of domestic violence cases at bay. The Odisha Police has claimed that “During the tenure of the lockdown in the country, it is not vital for victims of domestic violence to come to the police station to lodge the complaint. On receiving a phone call, police will reach the spot to collect the complaints or FIR and undertake the required proceedings. The victims can also use the Odisha Police Citizen Portal and Sahayata Mobile App to get in touch with the Police”. Such considerate steps should be implemented in all the states for enhanced results, especially in the states where the cases have increased exponentially.

The scenario of lockdown has amplified the existent violent behaviors. There is no way out for women and even children to protect themselves. Complete isolation from friends and relatives, bearing the constant company of their abusive partners, surviving on limited resources, no medium to approach for help, all of these factors have turned the prospect of staying at home during the lockdown an even more unsafe option than roaming the streets inanely.

The most gut churning is the fact that the media has failed to portray these incidents in the correct manner. The killings which took place due to domestic abuse have come to be labeled as “coronavirus murders”. This is irrelevant and takes away the attention from the actual problem and camouflages it, making it appear blurred. The reason for these murders is not only the virus or the lockdown; such murders are purely the work of callous men, unable to find appropriate means for ventilating their anger and frustration.

Domestic violence is not a problem that has come into being because of the lockdown; it has been prevalent since long before and will continue to exist even after the lockdown is lifted. It is the outcome of illegitimate subjection due to abusive acts and the disparity between men and women across the globe. The enormity of the problem is not something we can pay no heed to, the apt action needs to be taken, sooner rather than later.

About Author.

Kriti Khurana

Editor In Chief (INARA)

References.

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