Domestic Violence- the term is definitely not a new thing for any of us. Domestic violence is apparently defined as any form of violence or assault suffered by a person from his/her biological relatives, but specifically a torment suffered by a woman from the male members of her family. Gender based violence has always been embedded deep into the root of our society since ages and now during the time of lockdown, the spike of the numbers has noticeably been a matter of concern for all of us.
The ongoing pandemic emphasizes the global isolation, and it is no surprise that the rate of reported cases of gender-based harassment has gone up. It is a deplorable cause, provoked by the integral result of financial pressure, mental pressure, fear, insecurities, and no doubt the systemic patriarchal push. The national lockdown has now been a deep concern for women’s safety. More than 50% rise has been reported in just two months which is unimaginably nerve-wrecking. The NALSA report shows that the worst affected state is currently Uttarakhand followed by rising cases in Haryana and New Delhi.
The impression of isolation along with the touch of anxiety has geared up the terrific situation at home. When financial disaster cannot be easily curtled, the rising cases of domestic violence will also not bring any mercy or ‘escape’ for the victims. Work- places are almost closed this time and the abusers being in home are frustrated enough to encounter their spouses or children. School, college, work, or any other mediums are not in existence currently to protect the victims from the violence.
Invigorated abusers have found Covid-19 an another excuse to amplify their attempts, provoked by the driving forces like fear and threat. In most of the cases, victims are seen to be left with the very helpless condition where they do not have any space to flee away or breath freely. The ever-increasing claustrophobic situation coupled with unavailability of daily needs are working as catalyzer for the homely abuses.
The National Commission of Women(NCW) has reported that within a few days of the lockdown, they have got a higher number of cases via emails and their dedicated whatsapp numbers. It can undoubtedly be said that the real figure is likely to be more since the women from the low strata of the society either skip complaining and choose to be a silent victim or send their complaints via postal due to the lack of mobile phone accessibility. From March up to 5th April, 2020, The NCW has received almost 310 reports. And the number games doesn’t end here as during this critical period, a different figure says that more than 800 cases were received by The NCW for other forms of torture against women. For example, bigamy/polygamy, dowry harassment, dowry deaths, denial of maternal benefits to women, slaps and abuses, molestation, sexual assault, forced sex, rape etc have been innumeberably increased. Since the commencement of the lockdown, several women centric organisations, feminist communities, groups and women rights NGOs are also receiving a lot of help-mongering cases from the women of different parts of the country.
Not only in India, the lockdown has shown the real colours of the abusers globally. The epidemical pandemonium, stay-at-home situation, social distancing, barriers in day-to-day compatible life, excessive alcohol consumption, limited resources, reduced income and economical distress have raised the waves of domestic violence even in the countries like China, Australia, UK, USA, Brazil, Tunisia, France etc and many other countries. A sharp growth of domestic violence for 75% in Australia, 50% in Tunisia, 37% in France, 25% in UK and 20% in USA indicates the shameful surge of women atrocities when we are standing at the very edge of a modernised world. And this is beyond imagination that South Africa has noticed more than 90, 000 DV(domestic violence) reports in its very first week of lockdown.
On the verge to flatten the curve of Covid-19, women’s right, equality, physical and mental health have been undeniably hampered. The damage caused is overlooked by the government for the public health preparedness and emergency response plans against the coronavirus. The Sustainable Development Goal No. 5 , proposed by the United Nations that takes oath to “eliminate all forms of discrimination and violence against women in the public and private spheres, and to undertake reforms to give them the same rights to economic resources and access to property by 2030,” is incessantly being exploited.
To fight against the Covid-19 domestic violence, the government must look into the issues of physical and mental health of the assaulted women to ensure their security by shouldering their responsibilities and offering all possible assistance. In its conjugated efforts against COVID19, the government should take necessary steps to allow women right organisations, mental health organisations, counsellors and other mainstream social workers in neutralizing the enraging situation. Serving the women in distress and waking others about the various forms of women violence through several awareness drives and campaigns should be classified as an “emergency need” for our government. Last but not the least the criminals or the perpetrators of domestic violence and other assaults should be brought to the notice and sent for the trials while the repeaters should be dealt strictly and even put behind the bars as per the provisions of law.
Suchismita Ghoshal from Malda, West Bengal is an internationally acclaimed poet, professional writer, scribbler, published author, professional book critic, storyteller, columnist, former copy-editor at NotionPress Publishing, content writer, creative writing professional, nature lover and a change agent & former Worldwide Ambassadors’ Coordinator for Global Youth Leaders Network. She is now a registered member of Global Youth Network. She cherishes her partnership with various publication houses of India & abroad. She enjoying working as a manager at Pen Brew Publishers. Suchismita also aims to heal people with the majesty of her words. She is an environmental activist too who brought reality to her dream as her debut book named “Fields of Sonnet ”. Her recent releases are ” Poetries in Quarantine” and “Emotions & Tantrums”. She can be contacted through her,
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