Shhhh… Listen! Do You Hear The Sound Of Domestic Violence?

What can you do being in your house for almost 24hrs a day? Many people have to work from home or probably have no work at all increasing the number of hours one spends with their family. It is a good thing, right? Never in decades families git such a wonderful opportunity to spend so good amount of time together. Does it result in increased bonding and love between the family members? What if in many cases the result is catastrophic?

   Domestic violence is the violence or abuse that happens in a domestic setting. Domestic violence also involves violence against children, parents, or the elderly, but typically is the violence suffered by a woman by male members of her family or relatives.

    Lockdown has been a period where most people were forced to.be at their homes to prevent the spread of the virus, but this home quarantine lead to an alarming increase in the rate of domestic violence cases. According to “The Hindu” Indian women filed more domestic violence complaints than recorded in a similar period in the last 10 years”. But even this unusual spurt is only the tip of the iceberg as 86% of women who experience domestic violence do not seek help in India and almost 77% don’t mention about the violence to anyone.

   Even though much of these reports have focused on the impact on women and children. However, many older adult victims of domestic violence are also at significant risk during the pandemic. The elderly have to be placed under Quarantine in any circumstances due to their high vulnerability towards the virus. Safety measures put in place to protect them from the virus may also be placing them at greater risk of experiencing elder abuse.

   Victims of such incidents have very few places to flee as the transportation facilities are limited and people are vulnerable to the virus. Such victims tend to go through a lot of physical and mental stress which can lead to serious mental issues such as depression and isolation.

   The situation of increase in cases of domestic violence is not restricted to only India. The lockdown has brought the world to a standstill. The lives of victims across the globe, who are in an abusive relationship have also come to a halt. The same violence is repeated and perpetrated frequently, and on a regular basis during the lockdown. Various domestic violence helplines and organizations all over the world are working constantly to deal with this global issue.

     So what can be done against this cruelty? How do we protect the victims? In India, there are mainly three laws that deal with domestic violence—the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, the Dowry Prohibition Act, and Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code. All these laws protect women from dowry demands, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, economic abuse, threat, psychological abuse, etc., all of which count as domestic violence. All these laws prevail irrespective of the lockdown situation. There are numerous helplines and NGOs that support the victims of such violence.

    In case you are a victim or you know a victim it’s is to be bought into the attention that the abuser takes advantage of the victim’s helplessness and when a person is cooped up with the abuser during the lockdown, it would make him feel more powerful. And the worst thing is a lot of victims aren’t even aware of the fact that they are being abused. Acceptance is the first step towards protection. Once you accept the reality, then the rest falls into place. The victim must never let the abuser isolate them from the outer world.

   People who witness such violence should not keep mum and think “it’s none of our business”.By doing so we’re just supporting the abuser

  Victims of abuse can also reach out to 1091 – a dedicated nationwide helpline for women in any kind of distress. The governments of Uttar Pradesh (112) and Kerala ( 9400080292) have also launched dedicated helplines for women who are subjected to domestic violence.1098 is an all-India emergency helpline for children in need of assistance, that operates round the clock.

   Female victims can also reach out for help from the helplines given in

http://www.ncw.nic.in/helplines

The NCW has now launched a WhatsApp number 7217735372 too.

   Silence is never an answer to domestic violence. Always speak up against the atrocities. Never let anyone hurt anyone or yourself. There is always help out there, Be a help out there. We crew at Vamaindia offer support for affected victims and wishes you to stay strong

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