Govts Must Address Horrifying Surge in Domestic Violence: UN Chief

“Violence is not confined to the battlefield,” said UN Chief Guterres in a statement.

1 min read
File photo of United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres is urging governments around the world to include the protection of women in their response to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“Violence is not confined to the battlefield,” said Guterres in a statement and a video released in multiple languages, reminiscent of his call for a ceasefire in conflicts worldwide to face the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Over the past weeks as economic and social pressures and fear have grown, we have seen a horrifying global surge in domestic violence. I urge all governments to make the prevention and redress of violence against women a key part of their national response plans for COVID-19,” he said.

For people in abusive relationships, the nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus is nothing short of a disaster. While the entire world has been advised to take comfort inside their homes, for those at the receiving end of domestic abuse, home is hardly a ‘safe space’.  

Guterres called for setting up emergency warning systems in pharmacies and groceries, and for safe ways “for women to seek support, without alerting their abusers”.

“Together, we can and must prevent violence everywhere, from war zones to people’s homes, as we work to beat COVID-19,” he said, as he called “for peace at home - and in homes - around the world.”

According to National Commission for Women data, there were 291 complaints of domestic violence (only email complaints from March 23) in March. There were 302 complaints in February and 270 in January.

(With inputs from PTI)

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