While scrolling Instagram, there are very fewer chances of not coming across
quarantine hobbies started by people. Everyone has got their Me time
which they are pursuing their passion and relaxing sitting at their home. All
this is because of the lockdown announced by our honorable Prime Minister on
24th of March to control the spread of the corona Virus. We all are privileged
that this quarantine is not bringing bruises and marks to us as it is happening
with those women and children who are suffering because of the abusive male
member who has been lock downed with them. The abuser and the victim are locked
because of this pandemic, unfortunately.
Since the Lockdown has been announced by the Government due to the pandemic
caused by the Coronavirus, The National Commission for Women has seen a rise in
the number of cases reported for the crime against women. There are a total
of 587 complaints out of which 239 are the ones reported against domestic
violence. And these figures are from 23rd March to 16th April that and in the
next 30 days, these figures will certainly get double.
In an interview with a domestic help working at the author's place brought harsh
reality in front of the author. She said that earlier she used to run in the
narrow streets or hide at her neighbor's place when she was about to face any
abuse. But now she can't do anything. She wept her tears and said she wants to
leave that place along with her children who are forced by her husband to make
illegal and unlicensed
face masks at home using cheap material. Now the maid and her children are at
her mother's home but there are many who could not reach there. This extract
will cover the socio-legal aspect which has led to an increase in domestic
violence against Women and Children amid Lockdown.
What Is Domestic Violence?
Many of the readers must be in the perception that domestic violence is merely
physical violence, but it is an indoor crime done with a purpose to gain power
and control over a spouse, or any family member. It is not just ‘intimate
partner violence' as it can happen to children as well. The term ‘domestic
violence' was first used by Jack Ashley in The Parliament of the United Kingdom
in 1973. In 1983, domestic violence was recognized as a specific criminal
offense by the introduction of Section 498-A into the Indian Penal Code.
recent community-based cross-sectional study conducted in Tamil Nadu, the
prevalence rate of domestic violence was 77.5% in the age group of 15 to 49
years which shows a high prevalence of this crime and it has harsh implications
on socio-economic, well-being, emotional health and the financial status of
In India Laws regulating domestic violence is mentioned in The Protection of
Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005. It not only gives a broader definition
to the crime but also mentions about its scope and application. The act was
enacted in the Indian Parliament on 26 October 2006 and states sexual, verbal,
mental and emotional abuse as a form of domestic violence.
Under Section 3 of the Act domestic violence is defined as any act, omission
or commission or conduct of the respondent shall constitute domestic violence in
- harms or jeopardizes the wellbeing, security, life, appendage or
prosperity, regardless of whether mental or physical, of the distressed
individual or, will, in general, do as such and incorporates causing
physical maltreatment, sexual maltreatment, verbal and psychological
mistreatment and financial maltreatment; or
- harasses, hurts, harms or jeopardizes the abused individual to pressure
her or some other individual identified with her to fulfill any unlawful
need for any settlement or other property or significant security; or
- has the impact of compromising the abused individual or any individual
identified with her by any lead referenced in condition (an) or statement
- Otherwise, harms or causes hurt, regardless of whether physical or
mental, to the distressed individual.
The Protection of women from Domestic Violence Act 2005, is commendable
legislation by our parliament as prior to it any violence or abuse against women
was dealt with the IPC ( Indian Penal Code) which did not regard the gender of
the victim. This excluded the victims which happened to be children. In addition
to this, the act holds much importance from the feminist point of view in this
Domestic Violence And Covid-19 Lockdown
Imagine a situation where you are locked inside a room with a venomous snake
that is feeding on you by giving its poison to you. You can't do anything; no
one is around you whom you can ask for help. What would you do to save yourself
from that death? It is the same condition through which thousands of women with
their children are going through. They are trapped inside their own home with a
venomous snake in the form of their father and husband.
The Lockdown has seen many economic changes which include pay cuts by the
employers, downsizing employees by the companies and excessive norms to be
followed while the operation of firms. The daily wage laborers and small earning
people are facing a huge crisis. Some are suffering from it in human terms while
others are resorting to cruel behavior with their family.
The financial constraints have stopped the income of such people and due to this
their frustration, unfortunately, takes the form of domestic violence. The
unemployment faced by them boosts their anger which gets reflected on their
wives. This is the section of society that is making the world for their wives
and children more dystopian. Due to the non-availability of alcohol, limited
resources, and limited social life these men are becoming more aggressive.
And since they don't have anyone else to take out their frustration on, they
show their brutality and beat their family members. Another major issue as for
household misuse or family viciousness is an expanding danger of aggressive
behavior at home related crime. Last yet not the least notwithstanding grown-up
survivors of family savagery there are youngsters and pets that live in 60 % or
a greater amount of families where abusive behavior at home is executed are at
extraordinary danger of experiencing physical and additionally enthusiastic
This domestic violence is not new to these ladies, or to us but the difference
which this lockdown has made that now these poor souls can't find another safe
place to hide from these demons. Earlier they had the support of the government
and the NGOs but now they are all left alone The NGO workers are also
preoccupied with the service of the patients and contacting them has become a
The society and government are to an extent helpless at this point in time
because all the resources and funds are allocated to save lives of COVID-19
patients and the number of volunteers who can help in this has also reduced. But
there have been instances where the police could have helped such victims rather
than saying You have to bear with this which happened in one of the districts
of Uttar Pradesh.
Recently the newspapers were flooded with articles related to VAT imposed on the
Liquor purchase in 13 states to cushion the revenue generated by the
government; this led the author to think that this can be another factor
which can increase the rate of domestic violence. As these alcoholic abusers got
another reason to get frustrated upon. But it's not that the government is
silently watching this, NCW National Commission of Women has released a Whatsapp
helpline number so that such victims could seek relief.
Global Position On The Issue
This rate of domestic violence is not only at an alarming level in India, but
also in countries like Brazil, Germany, Italy, China, the United Kingdom, and
Spain. The women and children living there have no escape and the activists
there are already seeing alarming abuse. Theresa May, the former Prime Minister
of United Kingdoms in her address to all the MPs said ‘'Measures to tackle coronavirus must not do more damage than the disease itself".
In Hubei the number of domestic violence cases has legit tripled during the
Lockdown. Those alarming figures log only cases where women are able to seek
help; many cannot make calls because they fear being overheard by abusive
partners, or are stopped from leaving home.
Being confined to home because of coronavirus is difficult for everyone, but it
becomes a real nightmare for female victims of gender-based violence, Due to a
surge in domestic violence cases Antonio Guterres, United Nations
Secretary-General appealed to the governments to pay attention and prevent such
horrifying conditions amid lockdown measures.
But in other parts of the world, mechanisms to protect women from being locked
in with their abusers have evolved to take into account lockdowns and social
distancing. In many countries like France, Italy etc. measures have been
taken by the government to protect the women from such abuse along with social
distancing. In France Pop-up counseling centers and pay hotel rooms are opened
by the government for the abused ones. In Italy, the government has launched an
app that enables domestic violence victims to seek help without making a phone
Remedies And Measures
If a person commits the crime of Domestic Violence then under Section 498 A the
offender would be given a punishment up to 3 years along with a fine decided by
the court. This can be done on the grounds of ‘cruelty' which is any kind of
mental, bodily, economic, emotional or verbal harm. Coercion, dowry harassment
and abetment to suicide also come under this. Cruelty under section 498 is
Whoever, being the husband or the relative of the husband of a woman, subjects
such woman to cruelty shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may
extend to three years and shall also is liable to fine.
According to the Section 125(1) of The Code of Criminal The procedure, 1973
provides for legal provisions regarding relief to the wives and children. The
provisions of maintenance of the Code of Criminal Procedure are applicable to
persons belonging to all religions and have no relationship with the personal
laws of the parties.
The government should create some counseling centers for such victims, where
they can easily approach. The NGOs should take this issue more seriously as it's
not just a virus that can harm the humanity; it's the humans themselves who are
harming each other.
The police stations should support such women and children and file an FIR
against such offenders rather than making excuses. The women who suffer should
not feel that they are alone; they should be given the necessary support.
Awareness about Domestic violence Laws should be spread amongst the public so
that the message could reach those who are brutally assaulting their family
This family viciousness that ladies experience in the general public is
essentially a consequence-old enough old male-centric structure winning in
India. The degree is so much that even in the hour of a catastrophic event like
a crown infection which is the most the capricious episode that has happened
over the globe; ladies are having a genuine intense time staying inside.
Consequently, the onus is presently on the administrations that while assembling
the designs to react to one of the greatest catastrophe humanity has ever
confronted called Covid-19, the issue of aggressive behavior at home should be
organized. In India, the administration has ignored the need to officially
coordinate abusive behavior at home, and emotional wellness repercussions into
the general wellbeing readiness and crisis reaction plans against the pandemic.
But instead accusing the administration we ought to advance mindfulness about
abusive behavior at home and feature the different modes through which
objections could be recorded.
- Definition of Domestic violence https://www.acesdv.org/domestic-violence-graphics/
- The Protection Of Women From Domestic Violence Act, 2005 http://chdslsa.gov.in/right_menu/act/pdf/domviolence.pdf
- The Economic Times May 01, 2020, https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/indicators/period-of-lockdown-global-recession-changes-in-consumer-behaviour-to-shape-economic-activity-db/articleshow/75486283.cms?from=mdr
- The Financial Express May 6, 2020, https://www.financialexpress.com/economy/coronavirus-lockdown-3-0-states-up-taxes-on-auto-fuels-liquor-for-income/1949300/
- BBC News 28 April 2020 https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-52453372
- The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/mar/28/lockdowns-world-rise-domestic-violence
- Aljazeera 18 Apr
- S.498 IPC,1860 https://indiankanoon.org/doc/538436/
- S.125 CrPC , 1973 https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1056396/