Domestic violence on rise in lockdown period: NCW

Domestic violence on rise in lockdown period: NCW

Rekha Sharma, Chairperson, National Commission for Women. (DH Photo)

As the COVID-19 lockdown entered the fourth week, all is not well when it comes to women.

Instances of domestic violence are on the rise in the country, with the National Commission of Women (NCW) suggesting an almost 100% increase in such incidents during the lockdown as more and more people are staying at home or working from home.

An analysis of calls and complaints received by the NCW for 25 days between March 23 and April 16 showed 239 incidents, compared to 123 received during the previous 25 days (February 27 to March 22). The country initially went into a complete lockdown from March 25 to April 14, which has now been extended to May 3.

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As a rising trend was noticed, NCW Chairperson Rekha Sharma had launched a dedicated WhatsApp number 721 77 35 372 on April 10 to report domestic violence to help women who are not able to access the online portal to register a complaint. At least 40 women have approached the NCW with complaints since its launch.

According to the NCW, the situation around the COVID-19 pandemic across India and lockdown has bought several challenges for women like mental stress, home-schooling, work-from-home, household works, and also experience domestic violence.

Activist Anuradha Kapoor, who works with NGO Swayam, said, lockdown orders have been issued to safeguard one’s safety and that of others. However, for countless women and children living in situations of domestic violence, the lockdown fails to ensure their safety, instead, it exacerbates the violence they face."

The analysis of NCW showed that there was a 48.23% rise in the number of complaints related to gender-based violence it received during the lockdown till April 16 compared to 25 days prior to March 23.

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If it received 396 complaints from February 27 to March 22, the numbers rose to 587 in the next 25 days of which domestic violence accounted for 40.71% of the cases.

Next to domestic violence comes complaints filed under the head 'right to live with dignity', which rose from 117 to 166 during this period.

Complaints related to cybercrime has also increased from 20 to 33 while those related to dowry harassment has recorded a small decline from 44 to 37. (ENDS)




Complaints received by NCW

February 27 – March 22

March 23 – April 16

Cyber Crime Against Women

20

33

Outraging the Modesty of Women

25

15

Police Apathy against Women

19

20

Right to Live with Dignity

117

166

Domestic Violence

123

239*

TOTAL

396

587

*Including 40 complaints received via dedicated WhatsApp number since April 10