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Global crises are known to affect women the most in every society. Violence against women was already a prevalent issue however the nationwide lockdown has added misery to their plight. The UN has referred to this issue as the “shadow pandemic.”
Women and girls are often the primary victims of domestic violence. With nationwide lockdowns imposed in many parts of the world, women are confined to cohabit with their perpetrators under the same roof. The rise in domestic discord is a leading cause of such violence. Earlier women could seek help from the outside world like their families, the police, welfare groups, NGOs etc, but ever since the global pandemic their primary sources of relief are not readily available.
The National Commission for Women (NCW) launched the number +91 7217735372 to send WhatsApp alerts regarding domestic violence and grievance. The given number will only be functional during the period of COVID-19. This response from the NCW was a much needed relief for women in distress. NCW also stated that they will explore the possibility of providing online counselling and phone services to the victims.
The Economic Times reports that 257 complaints based on various offences against women were registered from March 24 till April 1 out of which 69 were complaints related to domestic violence.
Home can be a safe place for women seeking protection from the Coronavirus but it can be a vicious traumatic experience for women experiencing domestic abuse.
The Primary focus of the world is to deal with the novel Coronavirus but, in that process the interest of women is yet again defenceless. This global crisis has forced us to evaluate the condition of women’s safety and protection. Women are subjected to double subjugation during this pandemic. To safeguard them we have to empower them with rights, an uplifted position in society and by spreading awareness about the evils women encounter.
To every woman who is currently braving through this situation: hang in there; hold on a little longer. Reach out to your family and friends virtually. Seek help from the government organisations and NGOs. This is an excruciating period and you don’t have to go through this alone. Reach out and seek help.