IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis

Domestic violence remained serious concern in 2020

25th December, 2020 Environment

Context: Domestic violence against women remained a prime cause of concern for the Ministry of Woman and Child Development in 2020 with over 5,000 such complaints received in the year.

  • The National Commission for Women was flooded with complaints of domestic violence in March as the lockdown, imposed in view of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, forced women to remain confined to their homes with their abusers.
  • Rise in complaints is attributed to the factors such as economic insecurity, financial instability and isolation among others.
  • Victims of domestic violence are distanced from their regular support systems making it difficult for them to call out for help.
  • Lockdown incapacitated women by preventing them from moving to safer places in cases of violence and abuse, reduced contact with the natal family which is usually the first point of contact for the victim.
  • The machinery under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act had not been identified as an essential service during the lockdown.

WhatsApp helpline

  • NCW launched a WhatsApp helpline number for emergency response during the lockdown to deal with the increased number of complaints of domestic violence.
  • NCW’s audio-visual media outreach programme aims to create awareness about legal provisions for protection of women and to apprise women to approach the government through various helplines and institutional support.

Social audit report

  • A social audit report by the government revealed that as many as 2,764 childcare institutions across the country, accounting for nearly 40% of such homes, did not have adequate measures to prevent any form of physical, emotional abuse of children that results in trauma.
  • The social audit of all childcare homes across the country was ordered in 2018 when cases of sexual exploitation of girls were reported from childcare institutions in Deoria in Uttar Pradesh and Muzaffarpur in Bihar.
  • The report also found that 2,039 CCIs constituting 5% of such homes were still not registered with the government.