The nationwide lockdown since March 25th to check the spread of COVID-19 saw the National Commission for women (NCW) receiving a significantly higher number of complaints from domestic violence.
In April and May, of the 3027 complaints received by National Commission for Women across 22 categories of crime against women, 1428 (47.2%) were related to domestic violence. The data from January to March, on the other hand show that of a total of 4233 complaints made during that period, about 20.6% (871) were related to domestic violence.
A month-wise assessment of domestic violence complaints further reinforces the rise in complaints. These complaints accounted for 51.45% (514) of the 999 complaints made to NCW in April. In May complaints of domestic violence accountedfor45.07% (914) of the total 2028complaints.
When compared to the pre-lock down period, it turns out that in January, domestic violence complaints accounted for 18.54% (271) of the 1462 complaints. The percentage of domestic violence complaints was 21.21% (302 of 1424) in February and 22.21% (298 0f 1347) in March.
Since the lockdown came into effect, NCW chairperson Mis. Rekha Sharma has time and again raised concern over the increase in domestic violence complaints and the need to reach out to women caught in the confines of their homes with abusive partners. The commission constituted a special team to handle these complaints on a fast track basis.
Before lockdown, NCW received complaints both offline and online. Since the lockdown came into effect, the NCW was receiving complaints only online and through mail initially before a dedicated WhatsApp number was launched on April 10th for victims of domestic violence. Of the total complaints related to domestic violence for April-May, 727 complaints have been received on WhatsApp number – 72177135372.
There is also an increase in the number of complaints from women seeking help to protect their right to live with dignity. Of the 1906 complaints received since January, 464 were registered in May. Complaints related to cybercrime too saw an increase from 37 in March to 55 in April and 73 in May.
However, complaints related to rape and attempt to rape declined. While 142 complaints were received in January, there were just 12 complaints in April and 51 in May.
Name – Pooja Kushwaha ,Medha