DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ON A SURGE: SHOULD COVID-19 BE BLAMED?
Written by: Shweta Gaikwad
Edited by: Yashi Shah
Domestic violence can be described as the power misused by one adult in a relationship to control another. It is the establishment of control and fear in a relationship through violence and other forms of abuse. It involves a pattern of psychological, physical, sexual, financial, and emotional abuse. Acts of assault, threats, humiliation, and intimidation are also considered acts of violence. The World Health Organization reports that the proportion of women who had ever experienced physical or sexual violence or both by an intimate partner ranged from 15% to 71%, with the majority between 29% and 62%.
As Covid-19 confined people to their homes, cases of domestic violence went up. UN has stated that domestic violence has increased by 20% during the lockdown. Even though the lockdown has given all the humans the sense of being trapped causing frustration, getting out this frustration on the women or girls in the family would not relieve the stress but increase the same. Individuals with prior abusive, aggressive tendencies, anger management problems must work on keeping their stress as low as possible. Practicing self-care, limiting media exposure, taking up online impulse control programs, or seeking help through counseling can put them in a better place. Parents must keep in mind that their momentary loss of control may impact their child more than they know.
What victims of domestic violence must remember is, to not blame themselves for what is happening to them. Violence is unacceptable and the perpetrator is 100 percent responsible. A huge percent of women, nearly 86% who experienced domestic violence never sought help and 77% of the victims did not even mention the incidents to anyone. The option of reporting domestic abuse to the police is always available. However, if the victim does not intend on that course of action, they can create a safety plan for themselves, with a safe word to alert people they live with when faced with a threatening situation. Women should understand that sealing lips out of fear will only increase the fear and also the courage of the perpetrator. Speak up. It’s never too late!! DIAL 1091 FOR HELP!