Results highlight need for stronger laws and policies to support victims. Only a small percentage of victims seek help, believing it to be their fate or fearing negative societal judgments
By Ajaz Rashid
According to a study conducted by the Department of Community Medicine at the Government Medical College in Srinagar, approximately 6.5% of women in the city experienced domestic violence during the COVID-19 lockdown. The study highlights how the efforts to prevent the spread of the virus had unintended consequences, leading to an increase in domestic abuse victimization. The measures of social distancing, which forced people to spend more time at home, resulted in changes to micro-level human interactions and contributed to the rise in domestic violence.”
“A new online study has shed light on the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown on domestic violence in Srinagar. Conducted by researchers Sabira Aalia Dhar, Ruqia Quansar, and S.M. Salim Khan of the Department of Community Medicine, the study was published in the International Journal of Advanced Research (IJAR).
The results highlight the need for stronger laws and policies to support victims and address the issue of domestic abuse. The researchers emphasized the importance of acknowledging the extent of gender-based violence, raising awareness, and establishing support networks to help victims access resources. The study’s authors also warned against criminalizing victims and stressed the need to address the root causes of domestic violence.”
The study has revealed a 6.5% increase in domestic violence against women in Srinagar during the Covid-19 lockdown. Conducted by the Department of Community Medicine at the Government Medical College in Srinagar, the study was based on a survey of 92 women and published in the International Journal of Advanced Research (IJAR).
Of the participants, 63.1% were aged 30 years, 33.7% were aged 31-40 years, and only 3.2% were over 40 years old. The study found that the prevalence of domestic violence is not limited to any specific age group, with reports of abuse among children, adolescents, and the elderly. The findings emphasize the need for stricter laws and policies to support victims, raise awareness about gender-based violence, and provide easier access to resources for those in need.
The study reveals a rise in domestic violence against women during the Covid-19 lockdown. Out of 92 women surveyed, 63.1% were in the age group of 30 years, 33.7% in the 31-40 years range, and only 3.2% were over 40 years old. According to the study, the age of the victim is not a factor in domestic abuse, as it can affect all age groups, including children, adolescents, and the elderly.
Approximately 65.2% of participants were postgraduates, 17.4% were graduates, 13.1% had completed 12th standard, and only 4.3% had studied up to 10th standard. The study found that a woman’s education level can impact the extent of domestic violence she experiences. Women with higher levels of education are more likely to be aware of their rights and may resist abuse, while those with less education may not have this advantage.
The researchers attribute the rise in domestic violence during the lockdown to the fact that perpetrators may vent their anger on anyone and without hesitation, as all age groups are vulnerable when confined to their homes. The study highlights the need to implement strict laws and policies to help victims, acknowledge the extent of gender-based violence, and create awareness to make it easier for victims to access support networks.
Nearly 91.3% of the women who participated in the study were housewives, while only 8.7% were working. The study found that women who stay at home are at greater risk of domestic violence, as they are confined to their homes and have more time for interaction with the perpetrator.
Additionally, the study found that 54.3% of the women who participated in the survey were unmarried, while 45.7% were married. Domestic violence affects women regardless of their marital status, and young girls are at risk of abuse from family members who favor male children.
The study also found that 17.4% of the women reported experiencing domestic violence at some point in their lives, while 82.6% denied experiencing it. The study highlights that women are vulnerable to domestic violence regardless of their class, socio-economic status, or age, and that women have been subject to abuse throughout history. The study found that the abuser often abuses women to vent their frustration.
The study calls for stricter laws and policies to help victims of domestic violence, rather than criminalizing them. Acknowledging the extent of gender-based violence, creating awareness, and establishing networks to make it easier for victims to access help is crucial to reducing the frequency of domestic violence, according to the study’s authors.
“Around 10.9% of the 92 surveyed women reported experiencing domestic violence regularly and 6.5% reported experiencing violence specifically during the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to a doctor involved in the study.
“The COVID-19 lockdowns have increased the risk of domestic violence as they’ve confined families to their homes and heightened tensions, conflicts, and workloads,” the doctor explained. Economic instability, job loss, and income decline have contributed to rising frustration and anger, leading to more instances of abuse.
COVID-19 Restrictions Result in Alarming Increase of Domestic Abuse in Srinagar. Lockdown Takes Toll on Women in Srinagar. New Study Highlights the Devastating Impact of COVID-19 Lockdown on Domestic Violence in Srinagar.
Of those who reported experiencing violence, 17.4% confided in their family or friends to relieve their pain or validate that they weren’t at fault. Only 6.5% of the women who suffered abuse sought help, mostly from loved ones, while 10.9% didn’t ask for help, believing it to be their fate or fearing negative societal judgments. “Nearly 17.4% of the women surveyed expressed concern about their future, fearing further abuse,” the doctor noted.
“According to the study, the common reason cited by women for not leaving their abusers was having children at home. The respondents often felt guilty, confused, hopeless, and ashamed of being abused, yet they chose to stay with the perpetrator to ensure their children wouldn’t be deprived of family love and care. Women often perceive themselves as weak and the source of their abuse, while societal norms perpetuate a false sense of male superiority and dependence on men. If a woman does leave her abuser, she is likely to face blame from society instead of support, the study found.
The researcher emphasized that domestic violence in any form cannot be justified, and the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in another hidden epidemic: a rise in domestic violence cases.”