The Covid-19 lockdown is a death sentence for many women

The Covid-19 lockdown is a death sentence for many women. Not from the virus, but from being stuck indoors with a violent partner

The outbreak of Covid-19 and the sub-
sequent lockdown made many women
more prone to fall prey to their violent
partner’s anger. It has been just a week
since the lockdown is imposed on UK
families, nine people have already been
killed and it is sadly expected to exceed
more in coming days.
Although our daily routine has been shut
and everything is closed but it is not the
case with domestic violence. In fact, it
has been increased many folds.
Lockdown initiated a horrible spate of
domestic violence which left nine people
dead across Britain. The recent case in-
volves a family living in Sussex, having
four members consisting of the builder
and his partner with two daughter aged
five and three. Two other men have been
charged the murder of their wives.
According to a UK-based author of The
Devil At Home, Rachel Williams who is
a campaigner of domestic violence and a
victim because she was too, shot by her
husband, puts forward her fear of further
expected violence, considering this just a
beginning. She says;
“The lockdown is hard for everyone, but
if you’re a victim of abuse, it’s hell. You
get no downtime,”
“You’re imprisoned with your captor
24/7, with no respite, when they could be
in work, the pub or somewhere else.
“What’s even worse, is that children will
be at home from school in less-than-ideal
circumstances. Often, they won’t get fed,
and will experience things they should
not be experiencing. But victims and
perpetrators need to know that the police
will come and they will force the door
down regardless. They will do it.”
According to a survey of March 2019, in
England and Wales, approximately 1.6
million women and 786,000 men expe-
rienced domestic violence. This count is
expected to elevate due to this lockdown.
Warning the oppressors, home Secretary
Priti Patel, who is minister in charge of
police has wrote a column in a Sunday
newspaper, saying;
“My message to every potential victim
is simple: we have not forgotten you and
we will not let you down. And my mes-
sage to every perpetrator is equally as
simple: you will not get away with your
The main problem being faced is intense
shortage of hostels for women due to
insufficient steps took by Government
for it as Local authority spent €31.2m in
2010 and it reduced to €23.9m in 2017
which led most of the refuges to shut
their doors for people turning them away.
A UK-charity, running 24 hours, posted a
catalogue enlisting the websites provid-
ing safety tips for survivors. many peo-
ple were furious after a video by, English
boxer, Billy Joe Saunders was released
in which he was sarcastically telling the
opponent that this is how to hit the fe-
male partner. He hitting the punch bag
explained this is what you should do if
“your old woman is giving you mouth”
and “hit her on the chin” and then “fin-
ish her off.” Afterwards when British
Boxing Board took away his license, he
apologized saying that he never approves
domestic violence. Upon this video, San-
dra Horley, Chief executive of refuge
stated that the video was as “dangerous
as it is shocking.”
The issue of domestic violence is not just
limited to UK but it happens all across
the world with 137 women dying every-
day being murdered by a family member
which according to a rough estimate in
one-third cases happen to be their ex-
husband or partner.
Cases of domestic violence reported in
china, after the outbreak of Covid-19,
reported in February 2020 are threefold
increased than those reported in Febru-
ary, 2019.
According to the founder of Anti-domes-
tic violence group in Jingzhou, central
Hubei Province, domestic violence has
hurled at the local police station. He re-
ported that in Jianli 162 reports of 7do-
mestic violence has been received which
make up threefold of those reported Feb-
ruary 2019. Stating it according to Statis-
tics, he said 90% cases are consequences
of Covid-19.
In India lockdown is imposed from last
three days. According to statistics in In-
dia a woman is raped after every 15 min-
utes with Delhi being the rape capital of
the world.
The count of people calling children’s
charity childline is reported to increase
by 9% in Ireland. Since the schools have
been shut, visits to the websites of char-
ity has been increased 26% and people
has started using its text with an increase
of 20%. According to a spokesman,
youth wants to discuss more about co-
rona virus, family relationship, anxiety
and worry.
A frequently asked question to such vic-
tims is why they don’t just live but in
this condition and especially in a coun-
try with pathetic conditions of promot-
ing humans right, it is not just hard but
nearly impossible to run away from such
Although these victims have been ac-
knowledged that their not alone and for
them 24- hour helpline is there.
30% increase in such cases is seen in
France. Women, under such condition,
has been suggested to call 3919, under
the Slogan ‘It’s not forbidden to flee’.
France’s Secretary of State in charge of
Gender Equality Marlène Schiappa said;
“The crisis that we are going through and
the quarantine could unfortunately create
a fertile ground for domestic violence,”
further elaborating, that “the situation of
emergency shelters for female victims of
domestic violence is a major concern.”
But just hotlines are not enough. Victims
need a shelter to go. They are in a need
of new forms of communication and
good friends. Rachel Williams suggests
for this that “Why not just open the hotel
rooms for people in need? Why not give
them phones? If you think your friend or
neighbour is being abused, now might be
the time they want help,”
Although we have become scared of the
people and we are supposed to keep a
good distance of 2 meters from them but
that should not be a hurdle in way of ask-
ing them, ‘Are you okay?” For this we
can use social media means.
Government, in order to save lives has
stepped back to authoritarian and Dra-
conian measures but sadly, and shame-
fully, many would fall prey of domestic
violence .

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