Women have been a subject of violence since a long and without even realizing every single one of us have heard, witnessed and ignored those painful stories. One in three women worldwide suffers physical or sexual abuse from an intimate partner.
Prior to the epidemic of 243 million women and girls, 15-49 years old faced sexual and / or physical violence by a close partner last year. Since the outbreak, violence against women, especially domestic violence, has continued.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, information and reports from those in the front line have shown that domestic violence, physical abuse and other kinds of harassment are increasing drastically.
- Globally, even before the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic, 1 out of every 3 women experienced physical or sexual violence, especially by a close partner.
- Emerging data shows an increase in calls to domestic violence relief centers in many countries since the outbreak of COVID-19.
- Sexual harassment and other forms of violence against women continue to occur on the streets, in public places and on the Internet.
- Survivors have limited knowledge and awareness of the services available and limited access to support services.
- In some countries, resources and efforts have been cut off from violence against women in response to the rapid response of COVID-19.
There are many reasons for such an increase in cases of sexual violence. Arthur and Clark also cited economic dependence as a cause of domestic violence. At the time of the Quarantine, as many women were in informal employment and laid off, this led to them facing a major impact as they became economically dependent on their male counterparts. women are fewer than men in jobs that cannot be changed by telecom, making it difficult for them to adapt to changing circumstances. This increase in economic dependence not only increases the risk of gender-based violence but also makes it harder to leave the perpetrators. Diseases such as the flu, swine flu, and SARS have been found to result in psychological issues such as anxiety, substance abuse, PTSD, and frequent sleep disorders. As a result of the 19-fold increase in symptoms of depressive symptoms can be observed among COVID patients 19. Significant increases in anxiety levels of COVID-19 patients and the general public have been reported in the study findings. Frequently, these mental health problems and other related issues such as alcohol abuse often lead to an increase in sexual violence. Several investigators have reported that alcohol sales increased sharply during the epidemic. A 55% increase in alcohol consumption in the United States is reported. Evidence also suggests that the increase in male migration reduces sexual violence as a result of reduced exposure to potential criminals. When they are separated, women are very close to unlimited male members on the way out, leading to an increase in sexual violence in the home. Epidemics also increase economic vulnerability as a result of increased unemployment, or, the risk of unemployment. it is also possible because of the dynamic forces of domestic power that lead to harassment and sexual violence that eludes anyone who is outside the home. The problem of gender-based violence during the epidemic is becoming increasingly difficult as police fail to address the issue of same-sex violence. According to the report, gender-based violence in Liberia could also escalate because police were more likely to be mistreated and unable to protect victims. It was reported that economic strain, substance abuse, and isolation all tend to increase the risk of domestic violence. Based on the above literature review, it is evident that understanding of gender violence is a key priority in order to achieve gender equality globally.
Tackling Violence during COVID-19
The first step in tackling the escalation of gender-based violence in the post-epidemic is the adoption of this issue, which had been neglected during the epidemic in the past. Another way to deal with the issue of domestic violence is to always ask people if they feel safe at home and repost whenever they seen or suffer violence. However, it is very important that people who ask these questions have time and emotional resources. It is not uncommon for victims to be able to communicate in subtle and indirect ways, which can easily be missed. They also emphasize the importance of online and telephone services for those seeking medical intervention, counseling, or other forms of assistance. Neighbors of violent families can also help reduce domestic violence by initiating a conversation with them. Investigators also stressed the need to train health workers to identify signs of violence in dealing with the issue of same-sex violence. Emphasize the role of the media in raising awareness about sexual violence during the epidemic as well as on practices that may replace traditional support. This may include providing supporting statements, promoting advertising safety guidelines, views, and assistance on behalf of the victim after consent. They also called for increased access to services and funding for security needs and shelters during the quarantine.
AALI (Association for Advocacy and Legal Initiative, Lucknow, India), pointed out that the actions taken by the Indian authorities are not enough to address the issue of sexual violence during COVID-19. The NGOs have asked them to disclose the telephone numbers of security personnel by pasting them outside their offices so that they are easily accessible to the victims. An AALI staff member also expressed concern about the lack of a sense of urgency in dealing with cases of domestic violence under closure. The operation of the helpline is reduced if the required action is not followed and is simply recorded as data. The National Women’s Commission (NCW), India and non-governmental organizations such as Jagori have collected information on One Stop Centers, security officials, and other support services on their websites.
Aman: The global Voices for Peace in the Home, a network of more than 146 organizations and individuals working on the issue of violence against women in 18 regions of India has written to the National Commission of Women, India on joint recommendations to respond to the situation of women facing Recommendations include making operational telephone numbers such as 181 and 1,091 effective; notification of available services; use of Nirbhaya funds (Nirbhaya Fund is an Indian rupee 10 billion funds set up by the Government of India to fund the activities and programs of government and non-governmental organizations working to protect the dignity and security of women in India. ) increase access to resources available to NGOs offering legal aid developing specific policies to provide support for transgender women, women with disabilities, and migrant women who are marginalized and have limited access to support; and form a panel of lawyers who provide legal information to women by telephone, among others. The Aman network also recommended the construction of a temporary shelter in the Kashmir Valley, as no shelters were built under the Protection of Women Under the Domestic Violence Act, 2005.
The proliferation of the novel Coronavirus has created a myriad of problems that people are facing. In the absence of effective vaccines and treatments for the virus, governments are forced to put in place separators to reduce the spread of the disease. However, this has led to confusion in social isolation, which includes issues such as economic instability, mental health problems, and isolation. Although there have been studies examining the effect of COVID-19, there is a lack of solid literature highlighting these issues from a gender perspective. This includes the issue of increasing sexual violence during the epidemic. COVID-19 not only led to an increase in cases of sexual violence but cut them off from their support networks. To reduce the spread of the issue, it is important to acknowledge the level of gender-based violence, reconsider government policies, and support networks that make it easier for victims to access them and, ultimately, raise awareness of the problem and the resources available to deal with it.
- Peterman P, O’Donnell T, Shah O-P, and van Gelder. “Pandemics and Violence Against Women and Children.” CGD Working Paper 528. Washington, DC: Center for Global Development. (2020). Available online at: https://www.cgdev.org/publication/pandemics-and-violence-against-women-and-children
- Chandra J. NCW launches Domestic Violence Helpline. The Hindu. (2020, April 10). Retrieved from: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/ncw-launches-domestic-violence-helpline/article31312219.ece
- 3) New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse (NZFVC). (2020). Preventing and Responding to Family, Whānau and Sexual Violence during COVID-19. Available online at: https://nzfvc.org.nz/COVID-19/preventing-responding-violence-COVID-19
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