2020 noticed sharp spike in home violence

New Delhi, December 25

Domestic violence against women remained a prime cause of concern for the Ministry of Woman and Child Development in 2020 with over 5,000 such complaints received during the year.

The National Commission for Women was flooded with complaints of domestic violence in March as the lockdown, imposed in view of the Covid outbreak, forced women to remain confined in their homes with their abusers.

The number of complaints went on increasing through the months and in July, a record number of 660 such complaints were received. Over 5,000 complaints of domestic violence were received by the NCW in 2020.

NCW chairperson Rekha Sharma has attributed the rise in complaints to factors like economic insecurity, financial instability and isolation among others. “Victims of domestic violence are distanced from their regular support systems making it difficult for them to call out for help. The series of lockdowns in India reduced the opportunities of reporting of domestic violence cases,” Sharma said.

She said the lockdown incapacitated women by preventing them from moving to safer places in cases of violence and abuse, reduced contact with the natal family which is usually the first point of contact for the victim.

“The machinery under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act had not been identified as an essential service during the lockdown. Hence, protection officers and NGOs were not able to visit the victims,” she said. — PTI

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