Increase in Domestic Violence During Pandemic: A worldwide Analysis


INTRODUCTION Since time and memorial women have faced gender discrimination carried out by the dominant gender that is over half of the whole population. Both physical as well as mental violence has been included when we use the term domestic violence. The directly responsible for the severity of domestic violence is both the external and internal mechanisms. Presently, in the 21st century, it can be easily seen that domestic violence is witnessed by both men and women in society the percentage differs but this is something experienced by both. COVID-19, the dominant virus, forced the world to run in a closed environment and operate from home that, on the one hand, ensured the protection of people's health and, on the other hand, exposed women to harassment and violence at home. The number of recorded cases of domestic violence during the time of lockdown has increased tremendously all over the world. Nearly a third of women around the world have witnessed partner-based abuse, according to the United Nations. It called for action to counter a "horrific" spike in domestic violence during the pandemic, compounded by economic pressures and limitations on lockdowns that have left many women with violent partners isolated at home. According to a study funded by Led by HER and the Kering Foundation, which works to eradicate violence against women, domestic violence also affects the performance of victims at work, contributes to tardiness, and disrupts careers. When overwhelmed healthcare systems and disrupted justice programmers fail to respond, many of these women are now stuck at home with their abusers and are at increased risk of other types of violence. In particular, women who are critical and informal workers, such as doctors, nurses, and street vendors, are at increased risk of violence as they traverse abandoned urban or rural public spaces and locked-down transport services. Growing requests for assistance are being reported by more domestic abuse helplines and shelters worldwide. In a number of countries, since social distancing policies were introduced, domestic violence incidents and emergency calls have risen by up to 25%. It is also possible that such figures would represent only the worst cases. DIFFERENT COUNTRIES DISTURBING DATA: 1. INDIA: During the lockdown in India, the Indian National Commission for Women saw a more than the twofold spike in gender-based violence. NCW reported 587 domestic violence reports between 23 March and 16 April, a rise of ~45 percent from the previous 25 days. Containment, financial problems due to the lockdown, and lack of access to alcohol are factors compounding the situation. The virus replicated the pre-existing patriarchal concepts and magnified inequality and pre-existing disparities. Police apathy for female grievances has also risen threefold, with the police busy with lockout orders. Indian women's rights activist Kavita Krishnan said that women told her that they might have tried to travel to safer places on time if the Indian government had issued a warning about the lockdown. Between 20-31 March, the start of India's lockdown, the Childline India helpline received more than 92,000 calls asking for safety from harassment and violence. Children with their abusers at home were also imprisoned by the prolonged confinement. There is still an increase in cases that are not getting registered. 2. AUSTRALIA The Australian government reported that domestic violence assistance from Google searches had risen by 75% more than average. A 5% rise in domestic violence cases comparison to the year before was registered by the Western Australia Police. COVID-19 Working Group study suggested that some 40% of the 400 frontline staff surveyed registered an increase in requests for assistance, and 70% saw an increase in the severity and frequency of cases. 3. SPAIN A drastic increase in the first two weeks of April, Spain's domestic violence helpline registered a 47% rise in calls compared to the same time in 2019, while the number of women accessing critical support services via email or social media officially expanded by 700%. 4. UNITED KINGDOM On 6 April, Refuge, a charity dealing with domestic abuse, said that since sanctions started, calls to its helpline had risen by 25% and that clicks to its website had increased by 150%. A few days later, Refuge announced a 700% rise in calls in a single day. Furthermore, the Respect charity reported a 16.6% increase in the number of domestic applications. 5. FRANCE In the first week of its lockdown, France saw a 32 percent spike in domestic violence in areas under the jurisdiction of the National Gendarmerie (rural and suburban areas). This figure had risen to 36% in Paris by 26 March. In reaction, the government implemented the right for female victims to call for pharmacy assistance and mandated the police to be on high alert during the lockout for domestic violence UNFPA estimates indicate that if violence rises by 20% during lockdown times, an additional 15 million cases of intimate partner violence will occur in 2020 for an average lockdown period of 3 months, 31 million cases for an average lockdown period of 6 months, 45 million cases for an average lockdown period of 9 months, and 61 million cases for an average lockdown period of 1year. CONCLUSION The biggest contributor in the short term is likely to come from the impact of stay-at-home orders and limits on travel, which could increase women's vulnerability to abusive partners. It may also play a role in mounting household pressures and economic stresses. There are already signs that the rate of violence is actually increasing, including increasing requests for hotlines for violence prevention and media accounts of increasing domestic abuse and homicide. Different countries government is coming up with various kinds of solutions to tackle the situation within a restricted time period for the betterment of society as a whole. For instance, France has initiated a new hotline and website. India has relaunched a new WhatsApp number facility for reporting of cases. The increased number and injustice could be identified and solved only if they are reported freely in this pandemic time to work upon.

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