As the world went through/still is going through a pandemic, different groups have been affected adversely, some more than others. Domestic Violence due to Lockdown in India has increased.
When the pandemic starts, most houses were back to being full houses as work from home was applied in numerous states. This seemed like family bonding time, cooking and leisure time together however unfortunately, it wasn’t the same for many.
As the cases started to rise, we started complaining about food shortages and not being able to see our loved ones. On a larger scale, migrant workers were an issue the media was concentrated upon. Everyone forgot about the plight of homemakers. No, I am not talking about the extra labor the women of the house were doing, this is about domestic violence.
We all saw the effects of lockdown on individuals. Frustration, anger, and lack of personal space led people to demotivation but did we think about the family that is obliged to suffer from such individuals? Domestic violence wasn’t a new concept to any individual. When women and children were locked in with their abusers, cases started to rise. In reality or ordinary scenarios, 85% of women never report their abuse or abuser, they sit and silent due to a plethora of reasons. This could be a lack of financial independence or societal pressure.
When talking on the topic of domestic violence, India faces two issues i.e., the peaking cases and the lack of complains. Domestic violence is part of Indians households. It may not look like a slap or a kick, it can be verbal and mental. Physical abuse is just part of domestic violence but the other aspects get buried under the ground as there is no physical evidence of the event.
In March 2020 when the pandemic became more real than ever, and nationwide lockdowns started taking place, the National Commission of Women (NCW) witnessed and reported a 100% rise in cases. The reports by NCW showed otherwise, while in March the cases were being reported the official reports did not show a spike however in June when the restrictions were minimized, the cases showed an evident increase.
In 2013 it was revealed that 33% of married women between the age of 15-49 face spousal abuse. Out of which 77% never report or share their stories with authorities or even a confidant. We have also witnessed that when pandemics or disasters take place, the number of cases increases. During the pandemic, the major reasons that were given to support the argument of “not complaining” were mobility, communication, lack of contact with natal family, and unavailability of a viable support system.
The debate about domestic violence is endless in our country, the question is even during a pandemic, it is the women who have to suffer extra. The punching bags for a frustrated individual who has no right over the mind and body of the woman and yet, the woman is the one who is left bruised and broken. There are plenty of helpline numbers but no ultimate resource that can help women in case they don’t have a family to fall back on.