COVID-19: Lockdowns and domestic violence

With victims in close proximity to their abusers, domestic violence cases have been on the rise in the last two months throughout the world after lockdowns and shelter in place began in various countries in the wake of coronavirus outbreak

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Now that you’re reading…

What sets this time apart from any other time in our lives? The outbreak of coronavirus throughout the world has left each one of us with similar yet different emotions.

One of the most common emotions is beinf caged inside our homes with uncertainty looming large.

But that’s just one way to look at it.

Here are some other ways:

  • A break for mankind to reflect
  • A time for anxiety to take over
  • A time for change (lifestyle/behavioral/intellectual)
  • A time for stress
  • A time to count our blessings
  • A time to bond with those we are stuck with!
  • A time to understand what’s important and what’s not
  • A time to right our wrong priorities in life
  • A time to complain and crib
  • A time for creativity to take over
  • A time to be loaded with work (yes so many of us are overloaded with work of all kind)
  • A time to truly miss our loved ones
  • A time TO ABUSE (for perpetrators of mental/emotional/physical violence)
  • And a time FOR ABUSE for many women.

These last two points came to my notice when two of my friends shared their suffering with me in this time of crisis recently.

And then I googled domestic violence in the news section.

China, France, Spain, US, UK and India have all reported a rise in this “opportunistic infection” (as an NYT article called it) in the last two months.

As families spend more time together, the exploitation has increased all over the world.

As always, women have been hit the hardest in these times of uncertainty.

From abuse to just way too many chores to handle (with all family members inside the house 24*7 and no help) women are suffering in silence. And this time, even the “helpline numbers” aren’t helping much.

Some of the ways a perpetrator abuses another in a domestic setup is through isolation (already being provided by the lockdown/shelter in place for many countries), strict rules and restrictions of various kinds.

It’s easy to use all these tactics right now with victims having nowhere to go. Their mental agony is truly unparalleled.

So let’s spare a moment for them and also for children who’re suffering in the hands of abusive parents.

What can we do?

Not much isn’t it?

But we can…

  • Reach out to those we know are vulnerable to such abuse.
  • Be in touch with those we know have a history of suffering in silence
  • Keep ourselves informed about how our respective countries are dealing with it and not be ignorant.
  • Not suffer in silence.
  • Reach out.
  • Share the knowledge on social media and social groups as there might be someone somewhere who’s waiting for such information.

“Stay in and stay safe” is a tragic irony for some. It’s not a luxury all can afford.

Lest be forget.

Women helpline numbers in India:

1091/181/1090

For children: 1098

In the United States:

https://www.thehotline.org/

Reach out to me if you’ve anything to share or report at anoushkabhartia@gmail.com

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