The Coronavirus pandemic has spread across the world, and people are forced to stay indoors to protect themselves, their loved ones and also contribute to putting an end to this pandemic. However, this has lead to another ceasefire in the world, which is domestic abuse and violence. Amid the pandemic, many countries around the globe have registered cases for an increase in domestic violence.
Domestic violence is already a deadly epidemic, sparing no country or city. The increase in the need to stay indoors has spiked the rate of household violence due to various issues like money, relationship, security and health. According to certain reports, one in three women was expected to face domestic abuse on a daily basis, prior to the pandemic. However, this number has drastically increased since the onset of the pandemic. It gets especially risky for the informal workers like the doctors, nurses, etc., who have to face the world in urban, deserted or rural areas, under the lockdown.
Data collected from various countries have shown a significant increase in cases of domestic violence. For example, the Middle East and North Africa, where the laws for protecting women and their sanity is minimal to nil. Analysis conducted by the UN Women also signaled and warned the world about gender-based violence on women, during the pandemic that will exacerbate the pre-existing risks and vulnerabilities on women.
In countries like Mexico and Brazil, the calls to hotlines regarding domestic abuse have seen a surge, while in other countries like Chile and Bolivia, it has likely reduced. This reduction may be due to the inability or the resistance of women to formally make a complaint.
In China, the rates have increased to three times, than what it was prior to the pandemic.
The domestic abuse of women, children and the LGBT+ community has been a global pandemic, long before the onset of the Coronavirus.
According to some data collected by the UN, over 243 million women and girls have been subjected to abuse either emotionally or sexually in the last twelve months. During this time, when there is an increase in the rate of unemployment, a growing number of sick and deceased and the scarcity of resources and medical help have exacerbated the crisis. Abusers are under high pressures due to the reasons as mentioned earlier, along with alcohol or drug abuse, which leads to the victims stuck in violent and abusive environments without access to help, friend or family. Experts call this a ticking time bomb or an invisible pandemic.
Ability to access help
Before the pandemic, almost 40% of the women and children facing domestic abuse, reached out for help. But today, movement restrictions, quarantine and self-isolation have further decreased the numbers allowing the victims in the traps of the abusers with almost no support from family or friends. Despite the constraints, many NGO’s and government bodies are working around the clock in various countries to help these victims and get them out of this miserable situation, safe and sound.