In the second week of April alone, 2,500 women in Delhi called emergency helpline numbers reporting different forms of domestic abuse.
Violence in households during lockdown has increased since women are actually stuck inside their homes, with their perpetrators.
According to statistics, one in three women in India face domestic violence in some form or another – physical, mental, sexual or economic. So how can women effectively protect themselves during the lockdown if they are quarantined with their harassers?
In a video by Civic Studios, experts Aileen S Marques, an advocate at the Mumbai High Court and Aarthi Chandrasekar, Programs Coordinator, TISS talk about ways in which this situation can be handled.
The video aims to offer practical advice and steps to those facing domestic violence as well as to bystanders such as friends, family, building associations, etc.
-Umang Sabarwal, Creative Producer
The first step comes in the form of accepting that you have a right to a violence-free life. That you deserve and have been given the right to live as a free individual by the government of India.
The second step is to try and remove yourself from the scene of violence, run away from the kitchen or the living room where the argument may have begun. Also, hide all dangerous or sharp objects from sight so they can’t be used.
Relying on and staying connected with your support system is important as the perpetrator will try to cut off your ties with them first. Also, keep in hand numbers of NGOs and helplines that are offering help to women during the lockdown. If the situation worsens, don’t be afraid to call the police.
If injuries are sustained, a victim must immediately seek medical attention, the video also advices to keep a track of the prescriptions for evidence.
Watch the complete video here:
The last thing to keep in mind is that the courts are still open for emergency cases, so you can file a case under the Domestic Violence Act 2005.