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Domestic violence cases have been tagging along as a pandemic on its own with the spread of Coronavirus. At this point, we need some serious mechanisms to redress the rise in cases.
Nowadays, this is the trouble, so many noises keep bursting around the issues we are struggling with, for sure a special thanks to social media, and we move to the discussions around the mess and the real issue keeps lingering, fighting alone. For instance, increase in domestic violence cases during COVID-19, some are claiming there is no increase, some saying only reporting has increased, rest, there is no such data available, so on and so forth. What is common with these statements? The professional ability, not the responsibility to answer the question, somehow. What happens to those struggling? Nothing changes for them.
If this issue is really to be addressed, there should be a problem with even a single case appearing anywhere in the country. Yes, the statistics of its movement upwards should be an alarm but we must remember, this alarm had never stopped buzzing. With the worldwide helplines, ringing with increasing calls, sociologists and experts explaining that during such periods of isolation, it does increase, international agencies warning of its increased presence, we can no more be ignorant and should immediately enable ways to address it.
The government and health institutions overwhelmed with the increasing COVID-19 cases, so it can engage with NGOs, and other community organisations to make immediate help available. The opening of helplines including child helpline, publishing them on all television channels, publicizing the available counselling sources, and engaging influencial individuals and organisations to start the conversation on healthy ways of living during isolation, setting the healthy boundaries during arguments, treating partner and children with respect, the ways of taking care of self, including mental health during this crisis, managing work from home, dealing with job losses etc.
The government should also ensure the women and children that the help will be available if they will report and should arrange for the necessary rehabilitation centres with the help of these organisations. They should also engage students and community service volunteers for it. Students from colleges can also be engaged in studying and remedying it while they are having the time apart from their coursework, they can also be partnered and trained for counselling and other essential services. It could also serve as their internship project or other gradation work.
Even while we are addressing the immediate effects, this must find an elimination in future. Holistic research must be done on the factors triggering it. It is not much before that women were protesting the sale of liquor in markets due to increasing violence at homes, so each factor must be taken into consideration and we should see how the systems can help us to address it. We should even discuss, how much we want the laws to enter our houses, some experts have started calling it ‘intimate terrorism’, it is difficult to embrace this fact that such is the behaviour within our families, all the more India takes pride in its family system. As humans, will we be ever dependent on laws to ensure the respect and dignity for us or will our being human means something?
An engineering student at MNIT Jaipur who loves writing. Along with, a versatile being who
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