Author- Varun Vikas Srivastav, Amity University, Noida.
When we think about domestic violence, we often focus on it. Domestic violence is an abuse that includes any kind of attempt made by one person in a confidant relationship or marriage to dominate and control the other spouse, which will be considered under the domestic abuse. Domestic violence also is known as intimate partner violence which is committed by the partner or spouse in a relationship. This article will further focus on the main reason associated with domestic violence especially during Covid-19.
This Violence and abuse can be used for only one main purpose that is to take total control or rule over the partner. An abuser uses fear, shame, guilt, and intimidation to humiliate the victim and keep them under their feet.
Keywords: violence, relationship, abuse, humiliate
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is an abuse that could happen to anyone at any phase of time. It doesn’t discriminate as it can happen with anyone like with women, men, children, older adults, same-sex partners, teenagers, etc. It usually occurs with every age group, no matter what is your ethnic background, economic levels, race, caste, religion, and gender(McQuigg, n.d.).
It is been clear that Women are mostly the victim of the domestic abuse but there were cases and scenarios where it is evident that men are also the victims of such violence mainly emotionally, financially or verbally(Semahegn, 2015).
Domestic violence indulges such behaviour of a person that physically harms, arouse fear, force the partner to perform such activities which they willingly don’t want to do. It includes the use of physical and sexual violence, emotional abuse, financial abuse, threats, etc(García-Moreno & Stöckl, 2013).
Different kinds of abuses are:
Verbal Abuse: Blaming someone, name-callings, negative labels, treating badly, angry outburst, refusing to understand your spouse feeling, etc
Emotional Abuse: Verbal threats, defaming the partner in front of any third person, use of abusive language, criticism, humiliation, irrational behaviours, emotional blackmailing and threats, manipulations, etc.
Physical abuse: Hitting, slapping, kicking, pushing, choking, pulling hair, biting, arm twisting, burning, threatening, or use of weapon and punching. The abuser lashes out with aggression under physical abuse.
Financial/Economic Abuse: Menace the partner to work, creating conflicts with co-workers or clients, refusing them to work, controlling the shared resources, stealing the partner property or assets, etc.
Sexual Abuse: Any act to obtain a sexual desire, unwanted sexual comments, taking advantage, the act of trafficking, physical force, family sexual violence, and marital rape(Anon., 2012-2013).
How can you keep yourself safe from Domestic Violence?
An abuser will try to control you or show you his loving and caring gestures. They even try to manipulate you in their acts to make scenes and run things smoothly. But you already have the knowledge that at what end they can harm you. It is a vital step to make yourself protected from such harm and brutality. You can take the support from various people around you, such as there are various NGOs, law firms, refugee camps for women, campaigns for the safety of the women and child, and old adults. You can take their help to fight against domestic abuse(Breiding MJ, 2015).
“It is a poison that could lead you to suicide one day. You have to stop this sweet poison unless it kills you”
What leads to domestic violence?
The old phenomenon of domestic violence against women states that women are meant to be weak in society as compared to men. They are been said as weak and less valuable by the stereotype’s thinkers. There is an impact of domestic violence on children also as children who witness such abuse may develop with behavioral development, emotional or academic problems in the future. As they live in fear, low in confidence, not able to communicate with others properly, etc. These children are more likely to use violent behaviour, may attempt suicide, or go to depression, they start taking drugs, commit crimes or sexual offenses, or use their violence to enhance the self-esteem and reputations(Roxanne Dryden-Edwards, 2016).
Domestic violence in the context of the pandemic (COVID 19)
As the coronavirus global pandemic continues more countries, cities, states are adopting measures to slow down the impact of the virus by taking necessary measures such as social distancing, closing down of offices or factories and schools or colleges, restrictions on traveling and staying at the residence only. But the victim of domestic violence is facing the worst scenario in such a time as they finding themselves trapped in the home with a violent abuser during the time of safety and global pandemic.
The current societal conditions are impacting these processes of domestic violence as the perpetrator get every possibility in this lockdown. As bars and restaurants are closed in many areas so people drink at home and do violence this is also emerging in this time.
Around the world, the countries are implementing the step of lockdown for our safety and safety for others too but one thing went wrong that is the danger for our women and children as they were becoming the victims of the domestic Abuse in this pandemic(Vashishtha, 2020).
Many reports have been coming to the government regarding domestic violence in this pandemic. The victim from countries like China, France, Australia, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Netherlands, Turkish, Tunisia, and many more. But the most horrific cases are those which we are not hearing at all, those untold stories and the black hole of domestic violence data[i].
There were cases where the female is hiding in the room, with tears and fear in their eye, the sexual abuse cases, harassed by the husbands as they are facing both mentally and physical violence against them but can’t take help from the outside due to this lockdown (Pandemic).
The data from the global world shows that the emergence of this lockdown has led to a rise in domestic violence in the country as per now the victims are not able to avoid the abuser or perpetrators(Ely, et al., 2016). Furthermore, it has become the point of stress and struggles for their life. As in their home, they are already prone to abuse but due to the COVID 19 pandemic, the lockdown creates a living nightmare for them as they can’t even run away from such a
problem right now but it creating a huge mental instability to them. Being confined to the home become a difficult task for the victims during the lockdown(International, 2020)[ii].
The Abuser mainly controls their victims not just physically but by making them realize that it was a justified act, not the inevitable one. They also cut down the communications of their victim from their families and friends in order of getting caught or threatened[iii].
Covid 19 makes this worse as the lockdown and being at home is safe for us but many, it becomes the worst reality that they are becoming the victim of abuse(Anon., 2020).
They can only get support and help by the family member and friends whom they have trust. As the government should also help them in this pandemic as it couldn’t be possible without the government as they are the only one who has the laws and better enforcement of the law in the era can only help the victim from being accused during the time of this pandemic.
Empty hotels, resorts, NGOs can also be used for the accommodations. The government should give financial help to those who are facing the financial crises in this lockdown(Organisation, 2020).
In India, the Delhi high court has directed the central to the meeting to curb down the cases of domestic violence in this lockdown[iv]. The NGOs, human rights council, social justice society are hearing more cases of domestic violence in the period of lockdown so the bench of court with the help of the government takes necessary and vital steps to reduce and halt the cases of domestic violence(Anon., 2020)[v].
We all need an aggressive nationwide moment to promote the awareness of domestic abuse and should have done every possibility to report such abuses in the period of this lockdown. National news channels, radios, social media handlers, should be used to enhance the awareness of the people of the country[vi].
Society should also be sensitized towards the risk of domestic violence as if anyone sees the nature of abuse then they should have reported to the domestic authorities about the same.
“Strict actions should have taken to stop the violence”
FOOTNOTES- [i]"As courts close for the coronavirus, officials and advocates adjust to protect domestic violence victims" [ii]"Gender Equality and Addressing Gender-based Violence (GBV) and Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Prevention, Protection and Response". www.unfpa.org [iii]How Coronavirus Is Affecting Victims of Domestic Violence". Time [iv]Domestic Violence Cases Across India Swell Since Coronavirus Lockdown". Outlook India [v]"Locked down with their abusers: India's domestic violence surge". Al Jazeera [vi]Coronavirus: Domestic abuse victims 'still allowed to leave home'". BBC News
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