Global rise in domestic violence cases as Covid-19 lockdown turns into captivity for many women

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, IndiaUpdated: Apr 02, 2020, 09:04 PM IST

File photo: Demonstrators holding placards during protests against domestic violence in Paris, France. Photograph:(AFP)

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The women say — that financial instability amid the lockdown is making things worse for them. 

On March 8 thousands of women marched through the streets of Paris. They called for greater equality between men and women in France. A week later — the entire country went into lockdown. 

These women were confined to their homes to save them from a deadly virus. But they are dealing with a bigger threat behind closed doors. Physical and sexual abuse by their partners and family members.

The French interior ministry has reported a  30% jump in cases of domestic violence. In Paris alone — the cases have risen by 36%.

The women say — that financial instability amid the lockdown is making things worse for them. 

The French govt has sprung into action. It is bearing the cost of 20,000 hotel bookings for victims of abuse. And has set aside 1 million Euros for organizations that fight domestic violence. The situation in France has put into spotlight stories of horror from around the world.

In Catalonia — the regional government says that emergency calls to its women helplines rose by 20% within a few days of confinement.

In Spain — chilling reports of femicide have emerged. A 35-year-old mother of two was murdered by her partner last week. In Italy, activists say they are receiving desperate texts and emails for help by women who can't step out. In Brazil — women's rights councils have confirmed a 40% surge in cases of domestic abuse in the last month. 

In Australia — the prime minister himself has confirmed a 75% rise in Google searches for help amid the lockdown.

In China, rights organisations have reported a threefold increase in domestic violence since the lockdown began. 

And in India — 257 cases of domestic abuse have been reported online between 23rd march and 1st april. The lockdown may help keep women safe from the coronavirus. But it has pushed thousands of them into something equally grievous.

During this global health crisis — let's take the responsibility to reach out to our friends and loved ones who you think could be susceptible to abuse at their homes.