With the whole world struggling against the global pandemic- COVID-19, people are overshadowing the rise in violence against women. We witness the daily cases and reports of COVID-19 where the elderly and children are at significant risk. But, we see no reports or news highlighting the domestic violence against the women and the mental isolation people suffering.
With school and colleges been closed, people working from home, no such direct communication with friends or relatives, no such opportunity for outdoor activities or outing, youngsters and children are affected a lot mentally. Many people are not expressing, but slowly this isolation is leading to depression and mental illness. Some have also lost their jobs, and with no work, people are facing immense pressure which ultimately affecting their health.
But the significantly affected situation is for the women who faced domestic violence during the lockdown, and some are still enduring. Husbands or men, who are frustrated for the work being affected due to the COVID-19, take out their impediment by beating up their wives. Recently the National Commission for Women (NCW) received over 13,000 complaints against the domestic violence during the national lockdown. States like Delhi, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh had the highest number of complaints. According to the report, countries like Maharastra, Haryana and Bihar with 70 per cent of complaint were listed by women during the national lockdown. Last year the NCRB reported that Uttar Pradesh has the highest number of crimes against women and also reported that for the past three years, the cases have increased with 15 per cent of the total number of cases.
With the rising cases of domestic violence in Odisha, the Odisha State Commission for Women (OSCW) previously issued a Whatsapp helpline number to address issues related to violence against women. However, in vain, as still there are so many cases in which some are registered, and some aren’t. In July due to economic difficulty and job losses, the cases of domestic violence inflated. According to some experts, the cases of domestic violence are much higher than the reports from the officials as in rural areas; there is no such reporting/ complaining tool.
Not only in India, but in other countries, there has been a considerable number of domestic violence against women. Due to the economic and social strains by the ongoing pandemic and even due to the restriction on the movement have to lead to the number of cases of abuses faced by women and girls.
Government and the authorities are more concern about the health service for the COVID-19 and how to implement it. Still, none are focusing on domestic violence cases or the mental health cases faced by women. The Government should prioritise the violence against women in COVID-19 and make some step to recover the efforts.
Article Written by Dikhya Mohanty
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