More women are suffering from domestic violence amid Covid Pandemic

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Important Key Facts

Violence against women – significantly intimate partner violence and sexual violence – is a significant public health problem and a violation of women’s human rights.

Estimates published by World Health Organization indicate that globally about one in three (30%) of women worldwide are subjected to either physical and sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their life.

Most of the domestic violence is intimate partner violence. Worldwide, almost one third (27%) of women aged 15-49 years who are in a relationship report that they have been subjected to physical and sexual violence by their intimate partner.

‘How to control your woman’ googled 165 million times in Covid Pandemic.

Several surveys have shown a rise in domestic abuse cases in the COVID-19 pandemic, with gender violence reaching an all-time. The same has been verified by a recent study that found that individuals even Googled similar topics in 2020.

As per the study, the results showed a spike from 31 to 106 % in the previous year. “How to control your woman” and “how to hit a woman so nobody knows” were each googled 165 million times.

 Male violence was indicated in several search results. “He will kill me” was Googled 107 million times, “he beats me up” was searched 320 million times. Besides, “help me, he won’t leave” was googled 1.22 billion times.

Domestic violence rise in 2021 in India

The impact of the pandemic on women has been even worse and is worth exploring. The lockdowns and alternative social isolation measures enforced by all affected countries have forced women to be confined to their homes despite being subjected to family violence, with limited or no social support options offered. 

Consequently, the rise of domestic violence during the coronavirus has undoubtedly come up as an additional and equally potent challenge at the world level.

A surge in domestic violence is equivalently observed within the global South, as well as India.

The prevalence of domestic violence in Indian society has continuously been troublesome, and it worsened at a frightful rate during the COVID‐19 pandemic. 

This aligns with the global rise of violence cases during this pandemic, usually being remarked as the ‘double pandemic’, ‘shadow pandemic’, ‘hidden epidemic’, and ‘the other pandemic’. 

A recent review of gender‐based violence during the COVID‐19 pandemic also noted a significant increase in domestic violence cases.

Additionally, there was an apparent lack of supportive policies and resources for these women, as they were disconnected from their support networks during the COVID‐19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown.

Among the states and the Union territories, the highest domestic violence complaints were received from Uttar Pradesh,10,084.

The national capital followed it with 2,147 complaints. Haryana also reported 995 and 974 came from Maharashtra.

The country saw an increase of 46 per cent in complaints of crimes against women within the initial eight months of this year as against the corresponding period of last year, according to National Commission for Women (NCW).

 The NCW received 19,953 complaints of crimes against women from January to August 2021.

The number is up from the 13,618 complaints reported within the same period in 2020. The NCW received 3,248 complaints within July, which is the highest in a month since June 2015.

While explaining the steep rise within the cases, NCW chief Rekha Sharma said the commission regularly conducts awareness programmes. Therefore, the public is currently very awake to its work, hence the jump in complaints. 

She also said the commission has always made it to launch new initiatives to help women. Keeping in line with this, they have launched a continuous helpline number to supply support services to women in need, where they’ll additionally register a complaint.

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