Opinion

How to rein domestic violence: A lockdown plight

Shivani Rehal | May 23, 2020 02:06 PM

NEW DELHI: In the wake of Covid-19 ravaging the economy, the country inhabiting more than 1.35 Crores people is simultaneously facing a social crisis. Movement restrictions aimed to stop the spread of the coronavirus during the nationwide lockdown have escalated the incidents of atrocities against women at home more frequent, more severe and more dangerous. This is primarily due to orthodox setup of families, unemployment and lost of income.

 

The fact of women having no escape from their abusers is increasing the cases of mental illness, depression and self-harm. The cases of Domestic Violence have spiked since the enforcement of lockdown. What is more threatening is that the actual number of cases may vary as many women deal with obstacles of societal trauma, dependency on the partner, illiteracy, oblivious of their rights, no access to effective counselling during lockdown which makes them scared of registering the complaint.

 

Whereas the average recovering rate of Corona positive cases is 40%, National Commission for women has flagged increase  of 45%  of atrocities against women in merely 25 days leading to registration of 587 complaints between 23rd March to 16th April. It’s a matter of grave concern that there has been no healing in   vulnerability status  of  women.

 

To uphold the Constitutional mandate enshrined under Article 14 & 15 of providing equality, affirmative and positive actions for women, The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act,2005 aims to provide effective protection of the rights of women guaranteed under the Constitution who are victims of violence of any kind occurring within the family. After a rise of Domestic Violence complaints during the lockdown, the National Commission for Women (NCW) in addition to complaint links and emails has launched an emergency Whatsapp number-7217735372 for survivors of abuse and women in distress due to lockdown. The Women and Child development department and the National Legal Services Authority(NALSA) of India have also ensured the availability of their Helpline numbers 24*7 . Uttar Police has also launched “Suppress Corona, not your voice” campaign, encouraging women to file complaint. Moreover, Women Helpline 1091 is operative.

 

However, looking at the statistical figure of cases; the effective and efficient implementation of these measures can only be achieved by solacing aggrieved women.

 

To mould a Violence free and peaceful atmosphere for Women, one needs to adhere 6 Mantras namely-

 

* Imposing lockdown on the gender stereotypical notions

* Putting the viruses of Patriarchy in isolation

* Social distancing to all forms of inequalities  against Women

* Sanitizing and Sensitizing the mindset of people

* Making women 'Atmanirbhar'

* Be 'Vocal' against any kind of discrimination

 

 

Pledge now to make this a better world!

"Unity is strength, division is weakness."

 

Author by

Shivani Rehal

2nd Year Student

Campus Law Centre

University of Delhi

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