COVID-19 PANDEMIC AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

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Since the onset of the deadly COVID-19 virus, the world has witnessed spells of lockdown, which have exploded the whole world. There has been an enormous spike in domestic violence cases in Australia. The researchers have undertaken a survey and concluded that there has been a massive incline in domestic violence cases compared to statistics of preceding years. Further investigations in the research revealed that it is not only an increase in numbers but also the severity of the incidents has surged. The violence against women has been labelled as a ‘shadow pandemic’ by the UN.

During the lockdown, when strict restrictions are in place, the aggrieved persons or victims often experience barriers to seek support for the domestic violence. There have been immense challenges for the person facing violence at home to access support services. It includes an inability to contact the practitioner within a reasonable time frame.

It is very crucial for them to realize that all the support services are available even when restrictions are in place. If the risk of violence emerges at any given, it is lawful to leave the house and seek the required assistance. The crisis accommodation facility can be accessed by reaching ‘Safe Steps’ in case, the home is not safe to stay. When you feel unsafe at any point or there is a potential threat of domestic violence, confidential crisis support can be sought by calling 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732). Moreover, in Victoria, the Orange Door has been operational in lockdowns as well; it will provide helpful information and required support to the victims of domestic violence.

Domestic Violence is a public health crisis, and it can lead to consequences that can be significantly morbid and mortal. There is a need to excel the safety measures and enhanced level of support for the vulnerable section of the society. The prevention of domestic or family violence has always been the top priority, and prompt response measures are in place to ensure the victim’s safety and initiate the appropriate action against the culprit. In the post-pandemic situation, there would be a necessity to endow more resources for effective response to inevitable incline in domestic violence cases during the pandemic.

In case anyone witnesses a potential threat of domestic violence, the victim must seek assistance immediately by contacting the appropriate authority.

-Gagandeep Mirankot