Unfortunately, It all followed a certain pattern. Countries declared the lockdown to contain Coronavirus Pandemic, and within a span of few days, calls to helplines by women saw a spike. I want to back my claim with some necessary statistics.
The number of domestic violence cases reported in Jingzhou, a city in the Hubei province of China, the origin of COVID-19, tripled in February 2020, as compared to the previous year. A similar increase was reported in Europe and the US as the Pandemic Spread across the globe.
UN Women has reported a global rise in domestic violence cases and new evidence released by UNFPA reveals that for every 3 months the lockdown continues globally, an additional 15 million cases of gender-based violence are being expected.
In India, the National Commission for women received 587 complaints from March 23 to April 16, while 396 complaints were received between February 27 and March 22.
The NCW received 2,043 complaints of crimes committed against women in June, the highest in the last eight months.
The NCW published these details to warn about Rising Violence Against Women, but like many social issues of huge importance, it also went unnoticed because of irresponsible Media and Government. Few Incidents emerged on social media recently which caught the eye of many people and brought this pressing issue in the public limelight.
There are indeed many more thousands of cases of violence against women, which are not reported. Non-reporting of cases can be attributed to many factors, the most obvious ones are financial dependency and social pressure. Unfortunately, tolerating abuse and violence has given power and encouragement to men.
Many social activists point out that complaints received by NCW are through emails and WhatsApp, to which a majority of Indian women who face trouble do not have easy access. The complaints the commission has got are from a certain section of society, who are “literate and upper class” and have access to technology.
The NCW had launched a WhatsApp number – 72177135372 – on April 10 to report domestic violence on an emergency basis during the lockdown. The commission constituted a special team to handle these complaints on a fast track basis.
Major Reasons for Rise in Cases
- COVID-19 has locked the abuser and victim together
- Frustration in morally weak Men(which can’t be justified, I strongly condemn this behaviour)
- Gradually weakening the Morals of the Society
- Increasing Gender Inequality
- Non-reporting of the majority of cases
- Poor support from administration and authorities to victim women
- Everyone should be made to understand the concept of equality in a true sense and those violating it should be made to face harsh repercussions
- Providing support to women through more and more NGOs and Administrative Helplines
- Strengthening of moral values of the Society
- Women should be encouraged to report each incident of violence they face. We should try to create an environment in which they feel secure even without a partner
- I want to tell you a very important thing
- In India, there have been laws made by the government regarding Important Social Issues like Dowry, Domestic Violence, Child Marriage, Drink and Drive etc. But these laws have not been fully effective because of poor cooperation from the Society.
- While the governments are responsible to some extent, true change in the scenario would occur when Society becomes liberal enough to change its mindset.
With the majority of Societies worldwide being Patriarchal, Patrilocal and Patrilineal, a Women has to sacrifice a lot in her life. Men would never feel and understand what a woman has to go through in her life, from leaving her parents after marriage and adopting a new household and culture. All that she wants from her partner is love and respect, she would never imagine a situation growing up where she would be harassed by her partner. Every girl dreams of a perfect partner, but if she gets harassed and abused, then definitely she would suffer a lot psychologically and even physically in lots of instances.
While in the West and other major societies, the number of cases of divorce is more, because the women are more vocal about abuse and are open to changing partner in case things don’t work out. India, on the other hand, has a very conservative society in which it is very difficult for the Victim Women to get out of the relationship, she is trapped and forced to sacrifice her happiness because of social pressure.
“The patriarchal society has crushed women under its toes “. Men should feel ashamed and make no mistake, that doesn’t cure the change, there are a lot of steps that need to be done. We should make sure that every child should learn from beginning to respect and treat women equally. That would be only possible when people would do teach the younger ones these traits.Women should also be made to understand their worth and they should be proud of what they are. Wrong is Wrong in every sense, you can’t keep quiet in case of injustice. Voice should be raised and necessary action should be taken. Life is full of endless opportunities. If your partner and you are not compatible, leave him. No need to compromise. You can’t ever justify Violence. Even in the case of huge conflicts, the solution can be reached by peaceful talks and not by Violence.
You deserve better things and people in life. You deserve to be loved and respected. So, come out of that dark phase of life and welcome new and better possibilities.