It has been over two months since India went into a complete lockdown to control the fast-spreading coronavirus. This lockdown rendered many women trapped with their perpetrators within the four walls of their house. Domestic violence cases are, thus, on the rise. To bring this to the attention of the public, Ganatantrik Nari Samiti staged a protest against the increase in incidents of atrocities against women in the state during this time, in Agartala, Tripura.
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A group of women can be seen carrying posters with masked faces. The middle-aged women stood on one side of the road holding messages inked in red.
Jharna Das Baidya a former MP said, “Since 24 March, when the lockdown was imposed, as per reports published in various newspapers, 43 incidents of atrocities against women including murder, rape and domestic violence have taken place across the state. Through our protests here we want to send a message to the Home Minister of the state that police should be more proactive and take prompt action.”
Tripura: Activists of Ganatantrik Nari Samiti staged a protest against the alleged increase in incidents of atrocities against women in the state during #lockdown, in Agartala yesterday. pic.twitter.com/065ZtXp0tS
— ANI (@ANI) June 2, 2020
Elsewhere In the Country
As per the data released by Delhi, around 2,500 women have called the Emergency Helpline numbers, out of which, around 1600 being domestic violence reports. The National Commission for Women (NCW) has rolled out a set of measures to help the domestic violence victims.
Measures by NCW
In an interview with the NCW chief, Rekha Sharma, she told us that there has been a spike of about 94% in the domestic violence cases in the capital. The Commission released a WhatsApp Helpline Number as it would be more accessible in comparison to the current mediums of communication, which are emails, online portal and social media. The phone call service and the postal mode has been disrupted by the lockdown across the nation. The WhatsApp Helpline Number is 72177135372 which allows emergency reports to be registered. Moreover, a special team has been constituted to handle these cases on a priority basis. Read the interview here.
For domestic violence helpline numbers, read this report.
Appeals on social media
Recently, actress Sandhya Mridul posted a video on Twitter where she talks about the sudden surge in the domestic violence cases because of the lockdown. She talked about how victims are more vulnerable and might not even be able to report these cases. She propagated the message that those who come to know of any such case should come forward and report it to the concerned authorities. She rightly conveyed that we’re no different than the malefactors if we don’t speak up for the victims of domestic violence. It is absolutely necessary to assist those who have been rendered as more vulnerable in this dire situation.
The actress-activist, Nandita Das, released a seven-minute-long short film that motivates people to not just be bystanders to the crime against women but to raise their voices. The film, Listen To Her revolves around the lives of two women in lockdown, one juggling office and home while the other trapped in an abusive relationship. The former helps the latter in reaching out to the police. It also shows how the survivor musters the courage to speak up despite the fear of intensified torture if this reached the perpetrator.
In times like these when the suffering of some goes beyond ours, we need to stand up for them, listen to their ordeals and speak up.
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Saavriti is an intern at SheThePeople.TV