Violence against women tends to increase in any emergency, including epidemics. Stress, disruption of social and protective networks, increased economic hardship and decreased access to services can exacerbate the risk of women suffering violence.
As Covid-19 cases surges once again in the North East region of India, stay-at-home orders have been put in place. The chances of women and their children being exposed to violence is dramatically increased as witnessed in 2020 Lockdowns.
North East Network has been working on the issue of domestic violence in Assam for the past 25 years. During this period we have been closely associated with the Social Welfare Department in addressing the issue jointly through collaborative programmes and interventions. In view of the COVID19 pandemic related closures and lockdown, increasing numbers of cases of domestic violence on women and children are being reported to us from our field areas. We are remotely handling such domestic violence cases due to ongoing restrictions on mobility and the support provided by us is only limited given the current scenario.
We are reaching out to women facing Domestic Abuse through our Gramin Mahila Kendra Help Line numbers. We understand that the 181 helpline and OSCs are functional. However, in remote villages where we work, women are not being able to access these services for various reasons.