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Rise in domestic violence during Covid-19 Lock-down

Updated: Jun 1, 2020

One in three women have experienced some form of domestic violence according to World Health Organization (WHO ) and as this pandemic rages on, there has been a drastic rise in domestic violence around the world .

To curb the spread of this virus,the government thought it wise to impose a lockdown as well as put in place social distancing practices to ensure the safety of people.This singular act has placed women in more vulnerable situation than ever, as some are now forced to stay with their abusers for longer periods in compliance with the lockdown measures. Ideally, victims who suffer this plight might have been able to escape to work, school, market and so on but now, there is nowhere for them to go; they are trapped.

Also, due to cultural barriers, socialization and gender-based inequalities which places the female gender in subordinate position to the male, women and girls are more vulnerable to domestic violence .

It is recommended that in order to curb the rise in domestic violence cases during this lockdown,arrangements should be made with different advocacy organizations as well as domestic violence response units to secure a domestic violence helpline which will be publicized on the various media platforms to all . It is important that this helpline is a three-digit line in order to enhance faster reporting. Again, the helpline should be toll-free to remove any barriers that lack of airtime may impose on victims who may not have access to airtime, especially in these times. The helpline should also allow for victims to send text messages as some may be unable to call from their homes due to the presence of their abusers.Victims who call or text this helpline should have the guarantee that they will receive the necessary intervention within 24 hours of reporting. The police service should be highly alert in order to intervene promptly when domestic violence is reported

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