SURGE IN THE CASES OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AMID THE LOCK DOWN IN INDIA
"If we are to fight discrimination and injustice against women we must start from the home for if a woman cannot be safe in her own house then she cannot be expected to feel safe anywhere."
– Aysha Taryam[i]
The blog aims at spreading awareness about the horrific normalization of domestic violence in the country. Our country, which once boasted of being respectful even to younger and worshiping the women, has declined when it comes to mutual respect between spouses. Even though there are instances of men being a victim of domestic violence, women are still the most targeted spouse or partner. This blog discusses the cases, reports, and scenarios of domestic violence in this unprecedented lockdown.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN INDIA
India is a democratic country and democracy is considered as the best form of the Government. Its importance has been acknowledged since ancient times. India is a developing country, but women's situation and issues were taken for granted because of the increase in the cases of Domestic Violence.
Domestic violence means when the power is misused in physical assault, financial abuse, or sexual assault, and mainly it happens in marriages or cohabitation. It can also be described as violence that is committed by a spouse or a partner in a relationship against the other partner. It is of many types, such as physical, verbal, emotional, economic, and sexual abuse. This is common among the women in India because of poor mental health and weak wellbeing. It happens every day in numerous Indian homes. It does not refer to simply hitting or beating the women's, but it abuses energy. According to "Unites Nations Commission on Human Resources 1996", Domestic violence can be defined as "All gender-based, physical, psychological, verbal and sexual abuse, intimation, stalking, rape, dowry-based abuse against women in the family, and violence against prostitution – such acts can be termed as Domestic Violence."
CASES, REPORTS, SCENARIOS
The World Health Organization (WHO) informs the Government that there has been a high risk of intimate partner violence that is likely to increase rapidly compared to other years, as distancing measures are put in place and Government is encouraging the people to stay at home. The cases of domestic violence have been increasing rapidly in trend; unlike other crimes in India and beyond, during the ongoing lockdown, statistics have increased On April 6, UN chief called for a meeting to measures address a "horrifying global surge in domestic violence" directed towards women linked to lockdowns imposed by governments to fight with the Coronavirus pandemic.
On April 18, the High Court directed the Central and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi and other central states to hold a top-level meeting to take the measures to stop the domestic violence and protect the women's during the lockdown. As per the numbers provided by the National Commission of Women (NCW) in April, domestic violence cases had doubled during lockdown compared to ordinary days. This is almost increased in double the number of complaints is (123) received during the previous 25 days, from February 27 to March 22. According to the World Health Organization, one in every three women across the globe experience physical and sexual abuse in their lifetime and at least 30 percent of all women in relationships have experienced physical and sexual violence by their partners. According to the Crime India Report released by the National Crime Records Bureau on October 21, 2019, for the year 2019, 3,59,849 cases of crime against women were reported in the country. National Crime Research Bureau (NCRB), in India, every 1.7 minutes a crime against women takes place, and every 4.4 minutes, a woman is subjected to domestic violence. It also topped in the categories of violence against women according to the report.
As per the data in 2019, 3,59,849 and it higher compared to the reports of 2018 89,907. Countries, including China, the United States, Brazil, France, Australia, and others, have reported cases of increased domestic violence. India is ranked fourth in the worst country for gender equality and famous for gender-based violence infamous for gender-based violence.
From the day of lockdown started in India, the National Commission of Women (NCW), there is an increase in the number rise in the domestic violence complaints received via email. The NCW chairperson says that the real figure is likely to be increased since the high number of complaints come from women who send their complaints by post, and there might be such women who cannot use the internet. Between the beginning of April 5, the NCW received 310 reports of domestic violence and 885 complaints about other forms of violence, domestic in nature – such as dowry deaths and harassment for dowry.
To stop domestic violence in this lockdown, the Government has to take the measures to stop domestic violence like the "Bell Bajao" campaign and the "The Protection Of Women From Domestic Violence Act, 2005, National Commission For Women's Emergency WhatsApp Helpline.
National Commission of Women's Chairperson had recently said that domestic violence is increasing day by day rapidly, and the cases are double according to the previous year since the nationwide lockdown was imposed on March 25, with 69 complaints received.
In India 257, 69 complaints are against domestic violence, according to the latest data released by the NCW showed. India is currently under the biggest lockdown with around 1.3 billion people because of the coronavirus outbreak and to save the people from the pandemic situation, which has claimed nearly 300 lives and infected more than 7000 people. There are fully utilized 181 women helpline and shelter homes, integrate with OSCs to address grievance and distress," to stop the women against the domestic violence in this lockdown.
The women and the children because The Childline India have reached more than 92,000 calls asking for protection from the violence. To stop the violence against women and children, various Helplines and NGOs are working to find aid for these victims by providing them counseling over phone Or online, better treatment, and providing them hostels to help them live separately and freely.
Domestic violence is one of the most horrendous kinds of abuse that women face in our society today. The NCW reports show that 85 percent of domestic violence are female. Domestic violence can happen to anyone, and it does not base based on religion and caste. If domestic violence is not taken seriously, which is sufficient, then this type of violence will continue among all of society. To eradicate the horrendous violence situation, we need to stand together and make tough laws, which will provide the victims with violence. The policymaker's social services, health care professionals, police, and court officials are the tools that can save the victims from the violence, and various helplines are also working 24*7 days to save the victims. It is every citizen's responsibility to create awareness among such women and children who need this type of help to save them from sexual abuse and violence.
1ST LL.B. (3 YEARS)
FACULTY OF LAW, UNIVERSITY OF LUCKNOW