Increase in Domestic Violence during Lockdown

M.A, Psychology
Clinical psychologist
@Islaah Center for Psychological Wellness

Home is considered to be the safest place for a woman, this notion is too good to be true for women who struggle each day with being abused physically, psychologically, financially and sexually. Assault, threats, humiliation, and intimidation are also considered acts of violence. Since the COVID – 19 lockdown started there is an increase in domestic violence.

The UN has described the worldwide increase in domestic abuse as a “shadow pandemic” alongside Covid-19. It’s thought cases have increased by 20% during the lockdown, as many people are trapped at home with their abuser. Women have to deal with their abuser inside the house and the virus outside. Women have become the target of their spouse’s irritation, annoyance and aggression. Work from home, pay cuts and layoffs has added to the already existing reasons for a husband to abuse his wife.

India’s condition is not an exception to the trend of an increase in violence against women during the pandemic. In the first three weeks of the nationwide lockdown, data of the National Commission for Women (NCW) indicated a tremendous increase in the number of domestic violence cases “between March 23 and April 16. NCW registered 587 complaints related to domestic violence against women. This was a notable upsurge from 396 complaints received in the past 25 days between February 27 and March 22”.

Victims often don’t realize, but an abuser follows certain patterns. Instead of taking him head on during the arguments it’s better to simply walk away. Keep a cool head and try working strategically. Identifying the triggers may help: For example – your husband may not like you speaking to your family in front of him. Wait for him to get busy with his work or something else. Consider reaching out to your neighbor, co-worker, friend, or family member that you believe may help you. We can also help people being abused by calling the police if you see or hear evidence of domestic violence. Refer your neighbor, co-worker, friend, or family member to a domestic violence outreach organization if you suspect they are being abused.