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Ever since the 21-day nationwide lockdown was implemented in the country, there has been an increase in the number of cases of domestic violence and abuse, The National Commission for Women (NCW) said on Thursday, April 2.
In the first week of March (2-8), NCW had received 116 complaints of crimes against women from across the country, NCW Chairperson Rekha Sharma said.
During the 10 days of the lockdown, from March 23 to 31, NCW has received 257 complaints. Of this, there were 69 cases of domestic violence, 77 cases under right to life with dignity, 15 cases of harassment of married women in the home, two dowry deaths, and 13 cases of rape/attempt to rape.
Meanwhile, in the week before the lockdown, there were 30 cases of domestic violence, 13 cases of harassment of married women, and 35 under right to life with dignity.
"I get one or two complaints every day. Today, I received a complaint from Nainital where a woman is unable to travel to her home in Delhi and her husband is abusing and beating her. She wants refuge in a hostel where she can live for the remainder time of the lockdown. She doesn't even want to go to the police as she says that even if they take her husband away, she will have to stay with her in-laws and the abuse will continue," Sharma was quoted in The Indian Express.
Sharma said that she has been mostly receiving complaints via emails.
"I've seen very different kinds of complaints during this lockdown period. Women are not being able to reach the police if they want to, and in many cases, they don't want to approach the police because if the husband is released from detention after a couple of days, the woman will still be unable to leave the house," Sharma added.
Sharma said that while women could earlier go to their parents' home, they are no longer able to do so. She added that the NCW is in constant touch with the victims who have reached out to them.
According to the media report, Uttar Pradesh has the highest number of complaints at 90, followed by Delhi with 37, Bihar with 18, Madhya Pradesh with 11 and Maharashtra with 18.
Meanwhile, before the lockdown period, Uttar Pradesh reported 36 cases in the same number of days, whereas Delhi had 16, Bihar had 8, Madhya Pradesh had 4 and Maharashtra had 5.
"We are a small statutory body, so obviously the bulk of the complaints of crimes against women don't come to us but go to the police, we get a small portion," the media quoted an official as saying.
"What the victims are telling us that they are not approaching the police because of the lockdown. The increase in violence against women, especially domestic abuse is a very worrying trend," the official added.
Meanwhile, Rights activist and the secretary of the All India Progressive Women's Association Kavita Krishnan told India Today that the vulnerable women could have moved to safer places if the government had warned about the lockdown.
"All the women (domestic violence victims) who contacted me said had they known (about the lockdown), they would have tried to get out earlier and be somewhere safer," she said.
"The only thing to do is help and rescue domestic violence survivors. Their situation is worse now in the lockdown," Krishnan added.Also Read: Doctors In Hyderabad Hospital Attacked By Family Of Man Who Died Due To Coronavirus
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