Lockdown and Upswing in Domestic Violence

The scenario of the Indian society has always been in the forefront for being one of the major countries with a high rate of domestic violence and abuse. Women have been suffering due to this since ages and the whole COVID-19 situation has made it worse for them. Violence does not necessarily have to be physical. Some other forms of domestic violence include emotional, psychological and sexual violence. The sudden COVID-19 outbreak has led to the prolonged period of lockdown which has further caused people to confine themselves into their homes for a lengthy period of time.

For many people home is a safe place which brings out a feeling of peacefulness and harmony but for hundreds and thousands of other less fortunate ones, home is a place that scares them to the core. These are the people who are victims of domestic violence. Some of them don’t even find the courage to take a step against it for they have already been habituated with the pain,accepted their fate and their rebelliousness often leads to further abuse which is even worse and scarier. Considering the promptness of Indian judiciary systems, it is not really that hard to imagine why so many people keep shut and never take any legal actions against the ill treatment they have to face constantly.

The prolonged lockdown period has made the victims more vulnerable as they rate of domestic violence gas gone upwards. Women from less privileged backgrounds suffer the most for they are not even aware of the legal actions that can be taken against their abusers. The only relief for many people has been going out for their work in the pre-lockdown period. However, the lockdown gas completely shut off the opportunities to go out and it has enormously led to the rise of domestic abuse.

Apart from causing physical scars, domestic violence can even cause long-term mental illnesses as well. Depression, anxiety, PTSD (post traumatic stress disorders) and sexual disorders are some of the very common consequences of domestic violence. Needless to say due to the total lockdown all the legal options have also decreased. Therefore people willing to take legal actions are also helpless. People who are initially exposed to domestic violence may also end up being abusers in future in order to gain a sadistic pleasure from being the superior one this time.

It is therefore quite visible how this whole situation has trapped those survivors who have to deal with such heinous crimes on a daily basis without any help whatsoever. This whole situation has increased the stress level, anxiety, job insecurity which has led to the rise of abuse towards children as well. Even they have to face the elders’ outrage helplessly. Perhaps the only way to make the situation a bit better is to talk about it more and more and reaching out to those who need help. Spreading awareness and its consequences is really important. A minimum moral support can contribute to the betterment of the survivors for they need to be reminded from time to time how precious their lives are no matter how difficult the circumstances might be.

-Suvasree Bandyopadhyay

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