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Gender-based Violence in Lockdown Period

INTRODUCTION - To run from the virus, we need to practice the art of social distancing. People are scooped up in their houses. Some with abusive partners, some with abusive parents and others with abusive kids. Others are happily enjoying the “healthy family time” they are blessed with. This lockdown might be the best time for some happy families but for others, who have issues at home, this might be a nightmare.

For some people the extended lockdown is just a prison sentence which got longer and harder to survive.

GLOBAL PROBLEM- The secretary of the United Nations, General António Guterre said that there has been surge in the domestic violence cases during the lockdown. He has called on governments around the world to make addressing the issue a key part of their response to the pandemic. Secretary-General pointed out that violence is not confined to the battlefield, and that “for many women and girls, the threat looms largest where they should be safest: in their own homes”. The leaders of all developed countries and nations are asking people for the maintenance and cooperation in their personal lives such that the cases of violence cease to rise in the future. Shocking statistics revealed that domestic violence has surged since the start of the coronavirus lockdown, as the home secretary of UK, Priti Patel, insisted that help for all victims of abuse was available. Almost every nation is now compelled to ask its citizens to use that amazing compassion and community spirit to embrace those trapped in the horrific cycle of abuse.

As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, reports of domestic violence are increasing around the world. With one in three women globally experiencing violence over their lifetimes, the world was already facing a crisis. Now, COVID-19 is exacerbating the problem. The rampant spread of the virus has forced victims to stay at home with their abusers, leaving them with few opportunities to seek shelter or solace. Victims in the world’s poorest countries, especially those with already-existing humanitarian crises, are the most vulnerable. International development

organizations must ramp up their efforts to prevent and address domestic violence in order to stop a pandemic of violence from emerging. As the world battles COVID-19, the pandemic’s consequencs are intensified among women as compared to men. The same UNFPA report articulated the capacity gaps in countries with high levels of poverty and conflict. In the low- and middle-income countries, the danger of COVID-19 will only compound existing cases of domestic violence and increase the danger of lethality. International organizations working to provide health care and humanitarian assistance to communities should simultaneously address domestic violence to protect vulnerable victims. The victims is been increasing on the daily pattern and apart from the havoc of COVID-19, it has also been creating tensions for the government of the nations. With the current unbalanced economies of the nations and several other problems been arising its been challenge for the existing governments to run and handle the nations efficiently.

Denied access to traditional forms of support – family, friends, doctors – the threat for these unfortunate women looms largest where they should be safest – inside their own homes.

India, never an exemplar for women’s equality, is a especially unenviable place for battered women. Human Rights Watch (HRW) also reported that women in India are often afraid to report attacks for fear of being stigmatized, and because they feel unable to overcome institutional barriers in a criminal justice system that offers no protection to victims or witnesses.

Even if they muster courage to report the abuse, there are other daunting challenges. Uncooperative officers may refuse to file even a First Information Report (FIR), the first step to initiating a police investigation, especially if victims belong to economically or socially marginalized communities.

So is there a cultural underpinning to domestic violence? This questioned India’s age old patriarchy and hierarchy have created the system of unequal relationships. Because of the same there is a mindset created in women and girls that don’t even make them realize most of the violences in their lives.

The government needs to understand the importance of protection which has gained a very vague meaning. This is an issue which is highly prevalent in both, the rich and the poor nations. Domestic violence does not even pertain to the poor families, there have been cases of domestic violence even in the rich households.

Hence, Supress corona, not your voice!

By Yukta Singh, Lloyd Law College.

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