The day lockdown was announced in India, there is a sharp rise in the cases of domestic violence. Not only in India but an increase at a global level was recorded in the cases related to domestic violence. According to the WHO report presented by the regional director it has been noticed that since the past 1 year there is a rise of almost 60% in the domestic violence cases in Europe. Whereas in the Hubei Province ( heart of initial coronavirus outbreak ) there is a 3 times rise in the cases related to domestic violence in the times of covid 19 pandemic.According to UNFP (UN agency for sexual and reproductive health) there will be around 30 million cases of domestic violence cases across the globe in case lockdown continues with the same intensity across many countries.Domestic violence is not just physical violence but it has emotional , mental, psychological aspects also which affects the victim adversely.Normally most of the women are unaware of the Domestic Violence Act 2005 which empowers them and provide them with necessary tools to combat any form of domestic violence while living in a family. In this act speaking abusive words, harassment, physical abuse etc are covered and when a report is filed and the charges are found to be true then there is a provision of 3 years jail term for the person who commits the crime.According to NHFS-4 National Family Health Survey released by Union Health Ministry every 3rd girl is a victim of domestic violence from the age of 15 out of which 31% females are subjected to physical abuse by their husbands. It is a matter of shame and concern that in today’s modern world women are still subject to domestic violence and specially during this period of lockdown where people’s frustration turns into abuse and which triggers fight in the household followed by domestic violence. There is also a sudden rise in the application for divorce cases. People have lost their jobs, businesses are at loss or closed , livelihood means for all have reduced drastically.
For women there is a double work load in lockdown as now they have to manage home and work simultaneously. There are many cases where ego is taking a toll on relationship and marriage and at the end the pressure is on the women to manage workload of home and office both, whereas in this situation everyone in the house should be a moral support for each other and should live in peace and love to overcome the hard time of this global pandemic which is taking a toll on the lives of the people. Sometimes women with evil mindset misuse the domestic violence act to settle their scores with inlaws which should also not happen as because of this many genuine vitims suffer to get justice at a faster pace as it creates suspicion that whether the complaint is genuine or not. Seeking the rise in domestic violence cases , Police has made appropriate arrangements to deal with such issues, now Police officials have to present the report of domestic violence cases against women on a daily basis to the DCP. In Punjab, there is a rise of 21% cases in domestic violence against women.To deal with such a rise in the cases the DGP of Punjab conducted a viode conference with the officials of CAW cell and women helpline. There are many women who sought my help against the domestic violence and I had very actively involved Police and has made sure that a report is filed and the matter is taken into proper consideration and justice can be delivered to them.There are many people for whom I arranged counselling sessions to cope up with anxiety and depression so that they can continue living a happy life supporting each other during this tough time.
Mnay people understood that they have to support their family and are now living happily and those who still continue the violence against their women at home then I had taken proper care of the matter and had initiated all legal procedures through system so that women do not suffer.During the time of lockdown, I have been allocated with the charge of women and child affairs for the state, and have to deal with issues or cases related to them which by god’s grace I am doing very well. Police ,High Court, Supreme court, Judges, Law officers, all conducted a video conference in which there was a detailed discussion on domestic violence cases and it was decided in that meeting that all the complaints will be monitored through a daily report to be shared by the DCPs. If required Police will make coordination between the help centres managed by counsellors appointed by the Social justice, women and child development department. In India apart from Punjab many other states such as Haryana , Delhi, Uttrakhand etc too reported steep rise in the domestic violence cases because of which even Supreme Court has directed that timely justice should be delivered to Women and child.If there is a matter of domestic violence anywhere near you, or you are the victim then without any hesitation you should directly dial women helpline number and seek proper help from the police, Always remember that your silence makes the things more worse so speak up and stand for your self respect and dignity.
Jai Hind Jai Bharat.
Punjab govt officer
(DAG Chandigarh High Court)
Phd Scholar (Delhi University )