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Can Domestic Violence be considered as the next pandemic across the world?

Updated: Jul 17

AUTHOR- AKANKSHA,GURU NANAK DEV UNIVERSITY, AMRITSAR.

The Governments all over the world has shut down their entire countries in this coronavirus pandemic and has imposed a stay at home orders and movement restrictions for their residents. Also, Indian government has requested the public to stay at home for their safety and protection form this disease. But the only outcome we get through is that there is also a rapid increase in Domestic Violence as well as growth in covid cases. Financial instability [1]and stress let Men venting out their frustration on their wives and children. Home which is generally said to be a peaceful area for every individual has now become a jail for some women as they don’t feel safe there anymore.

Domestic violence and sexual exploitations as we usually heard in daily newspaper and articles has always been an epidemic in world. Domestic violence is not just about physical violence. It can be any behaviour which can be done by gaining power and control of your partner, spouse, children, old aged parents and lovers as well.

Domestic violence can be in different forms including treating someone, stalking, psychological abuse, child sexual abuse and harassment and honour killings or results of forced marriages. Some well-known types of the domestic violence are: -

Physical Abuse is one of the major types of domestic abuse. Inflicting or threatening anyone or physical pain or injury on a vulnerable elder, causing mental pain or distress on an elder person through verbal or nonverbal acts and sexual abuse of any kind over spouse and children comes under emotional trauma. Exploitation by illegal means or misusing of funds, property l of old ages parents and depriving them from their basic needs. Neglecting[2]and refusal by those responsible to provide food, shelter, health care or protection for a vulnerable elder.

Under eyes of law it also includes

1. Dangerous crimes against children

2. Aggravated assault

3. Unlawful imprisonment

4. Telephonic harrassment

5. Mental Harrassment

6. Blackmailing someone with vedio and photos

7. Disobedience of any Court’s order

According to the UN reports and data, a rapid increase in domestic abuse has evidenced worldwide during this lockdown. About a fifty percent increase in this shadow pandemic has been seen as many victims are stucked with their trappers in their homes. So, the women have now taken this matter under their control to help their neighbouring ladies. As a vedio source we get to know this In West Bank area, women protested against this violence by bagging their plates. Most of the women don’t know the complete definition of domestic violence, according to them going under physical torture is only way of this abuse.

Now the question comes if the victim[3] seems it so much terrible then why are they not taking any action against them or suffering a lot after a lot off this get onto their plate? So, we get to the conclusion by doing questionnaires that there can be as much reasons for every individual and specially in cases of women and parents. We can say that after tolerating endless torture one stays in relationship for the same reasons as other stays in their relationships. So, the first and simplest reason that comes in eye is fear. When any abuser threatened to kill a victim.

Dependency is also the other factor that results in domestic violence as many women and parents due to financial, emotional and low social status pressure them to continue a relationship. In case of Love and affection one believes that he or she cannot exist without one’s spouse. So, a small push to the abuser also results in dreadful crimes against victims.

Low social status and less interaction[4] with outside world may not allow the victim to contact with their families and loved one which creates an abnormal mental environment around them and they keep themselves isolated in a small world.

Measure taken by world governments to tackle this global problem:

Mostly countries like India, United States of America, Canada, Arab countries have reported many calls from the household ladies for help and security. So, government has taken the initiative to cope up with this evil by organising public information campaigns and implementing legal orders for protection of victims. Many social activists and non-government organisations have also started providing health care shelters and helpline number for these needy. As per resources Australian and China governments has released google searches and cybersecurity to provide data for domestic violence help and as per record there is a flagging increase in reported cases compared to prior ones.

Other governments like Italy has launched an app instead of making phone calls and in addition French also launched new website and helpline by implementing a different code. Western Australia has made a departmental cell for providing safety measures to their citizens and allows courts to take redressal over the crimes and impose huge penalties over the abusers. So as per my concern special consideration should be given to the women who are not physically capable as they deal with more problems and physical abuse and exploitation because they are unable to call for their protection as compared to women who can defend themselves a little bit. Moreover, first line support should be provided to women along with the health facilities and mental services.

Role of Indian government in combating Domestic Violence

Our central government, state government and local level bodies has also taken up preventive measures to control this social crime.

· Domestic Violence Act, 2005 It is the first Indian law enacted by Indian government that introduced the term “Domestic Violence”. It is an act made by Parliament of India to provide protection to domestic victims but came into force on November 2006. Under this it doesn’t include physical abuse but also stated that mental harrassment is also given the same weightage under this act. The whole procedure to make a complaint and to raise voice; jurisdiction of court has been defined in it, explaining the reliefs provided to victims and punishment and penalties imposed on the abusers in addition.

· Ministry of security and justice has made guidelines for prevention of domestic violence

Since January 2015 “The advice and reporting centres for Child Abuse” and “The Neglect and Domestic Violence Advice and Support Centres” merged to form a new organisation, called Veilig Thuis, in order to better align the responses to domestic violence and child abuse.

· Dowry Prohibition Act,1961[5] - The third law is the Dowry Prohibition Act. It is a criminal law that punishes the takers and givers of dowry as well. Under this law, if someone takes, gives or even demands dowry, they can be imprisoned for 6 months or they can be fined upto ₹ 5,000.

· Last one but not least is Section 498A under Indian penal code. This section provides help to women who are facing violence at home by their Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty; Cruelty refers to any conduct that drives a woman to suicide or causes grievous hurt and injury to her life or health including mental health including harassment in the name of dowry. Under this accused people can be sent to jail for up to 3 years under this law.

[1] Unacceptable behaviour and changes in mood [2] Failure to take care of [3] Person injured as a result of any crime [4] Direct involvement with someone [5] https://www.helpguide.org/articles/abuse/domestic-violence-and-abuse.htm https://www.government.nl/topics/domestic-violence/tackling-domestic-violence



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