Amid the pandemic of Coronavirus, governments around the globe have implored the citizens to stay home to prevent the spread of this disease. Home is not a safe place to live 24/7 for the victims of domestic abuse.
Impact of Lockdown on Domestic Violence
Data from different regions already illustrate a significant increase in domestic violence cases. The impact is severe among marginalized populations like North Africa and the Middle East, as there are a few laws for protecting women from domestic violence. Apart from this, Salwin Law Group has reported a rise in domestic violence cases from their record in Scottsdale
An analysis by UN Women of the impacts of gender-based violence in the Palestinian territories has elevated during the Covid-19 outbreak. In most Latin American countries, for example, Brazil and Mexico, a significant spike in calls to numerous hotlines in the past few months indicate an increase in domestic abuse. However, according to the UN and local prosecutors, a drop in formal complaints is likely due to the inability or movement restrictions of the women to seek help or report through any official channel.
It is crucial to remember that long before the outbreak of Covid-19, domestic violence was a global pandemic and has risen during lockdown because of the restrictions of living under the same roof. The data collected by the UN indicates that 243 million girls and women between the ages of sixteen to forty-nine were subjected to physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner across the globe.
What has been the probable impact on social services and prosecutors for domestic violence victims?
Cities around the world have noticed a dramatic increase in domestic violence, and thus the demand for assistance and social services has also increased. Social, legal, and health service providers are overwhelmed and understaffed, prosecutors and law consultants like Salwin Law Group has also stepped in to help the victims.
Some critically essential measures should be accompanied to prevent and interrupt domestic abuse before making any decision regarding the release of inmates. Efforts to notify victims of the pending release of the inmates from the prison, individualized risk assessments, and safety planning support can help victims plan accordingly.
Special Measures to Prevent Domestic Violence Amid the Pandemic
Several countries and NGOs have taken steps to prevent domestic abuse. New campaigns are using social media channels to spread awareness of the available resources like text messages and hotlines to report any such issues.
Taking into account social distancing, people rely more on technology, which has changed the ways legal, mental health, and other social services are provided to the victims who are unable to leave their homes. Virtual court hearings are being opted with disruptions to the criminal justice system.
Moving forward, states should support the development of reporting mechanisms, strengthen the capacity of justice sectors and security, maintain vital health services, expand shelter options, support independent women groups, and finance security measures for women workers.
Pandemic and Domestic Violence
It is the need of the hour that the general public and elected officials play their role in this invisible pandemic more than ever before. As the connection between economic insecurity and other physical insecurities is more tangible for the people who might not be involved in domestic violence, it is crucial to spread awareness.
Governments, legal authorities, prosecutors, and lawyers should do their best to spread awareness about this sensitive issue. There is a unique opportunity to shine like a star by creating financial safety valves by considering public health-oriented approaches that address the root cause of domestic violence. The pandemic also has the potential to continue to marginalize the survivors of domestic violence who are in dire need of support in a global economic crisis.
To recapitulate, domestic violence isn’t something new, but the significant rise is alarming. People are losing their temper and attacking the ones who are weaker to get off the frustration. Thus, we should all stand together to control such issues as it is not merely the duty of government to handle all the side effects and crises of the pandemic.