Is staying home really staying safe for all of us?

Lockdowns have made women around the world more vulnerable to abuse and at the same time they’ve disrupted potential support services, says Ved Vriti.

The coronavirus pandemic is undoubtedly a trying time. All of us are asked to stay home to stay safe but is staying at home really safe for all of us? 

In the initial 11 days of lockdown, helpline numbers across India received around 92,000 calls related to gender-based violence. Numerous domestic abuse cases needing immediate intervention have been reaching the courts on a daily basis. The vulnerable conditions of women have been further exposed with many finding no safety within their four walls during this quarantine.

Illustration by author Ved Vriti.

There are increased risks of violence against women during this pandemic for many reasons and many of them also impact women’s ability to respond to abuse. The stresses of dwindling social networks have increased the likelihood of abuse and disrupted women’s protective networks. Worsening financial conditions have made women more reliant on male family members and partners and at the same time limited or voided the reach of support services. 

Also due to lockdown, the accessibility and availability of sexual and reproductive health services have become more limited. Various other related services like hotlines, social services units, violence against women cells, mahila panchayats, shelters homes and legal aid services have also been reduced, making it difficult for women to reach the few sources of help that would usually be available. 

The World Health Organisation (WHO), took a stand on the alarming number of cases against domestic violence and has issued guidelines to health sectors and political systems around the world. Among other things, they have stressed the importance of awareness as to the steps which can be taken to help those facing violence in lockdown. Home should be safe for all of us. And all of us need to take action to ensure this is the case.

THIS BLOG IS A PART OF A SPECIAL SERIES CURATED FOR THE 16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM AGAINST GENDER BASED VIOLENCE. YOU CAN TAKE ACTION TO END GENDER BASED VIOLENCE NOW.

Ved Vriti

Ved Vriti

Ved Vriti has worked as a Youth Accountability Advocate with Restless Development India on the issue of Gender Based Violence. She is currently working as Youth as Researcher at UNESCO.

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Is staying home really staying safe for all of us?

by Ved Vriti Reading time: 1 min
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