New Delhi: The National Commission for Women (NCW) received 23,722 complaints of crimes committed against women in 2020, the highest in the last six years. Nearly one-fourth of the total complaints were of domestic violence, according to NCW data, The Indian Express (TIE) reported quoting PTI.
A total of 5,294 complaints were related to domestic violence. Economic insecurity, increased stress levels, anxiety, financial worry, and lack of other such emotional support from parents/family’s side may have resulted in domestic violence in many instances in 2020, NCW Chairperson Rekha Sharma was quoted as saying.
The number of complaints received in 2020 have been the highest in six years. In 2014, a total of 33,906 complaints were received, according to the NCW data.
“More so, home has become the workplace of both the spouses and as well as schools and colleges for their children. In such situations, women are multitasking being professional at the same time supporting their families from the same space. But the biggest challenge for women this year is not only to adapt but to thrive in this unprecedented situation,” she told PTI.
How the lockdowns contributed to domestic violence
- They forced women to remain confined to their homes with their abusers.
- Victims of domestic violence got distanced from their regular support systems making it difficult for them to call out for help.
- They reduced the opportunities of reporting domestic violence cases.
- The machinery under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act had not been identified as an essential service during the lockdown
- Protection officers and NGOs were not able to visit households of victims and police officers being at the frontline to tackle COVID-19 were overstretched to help victims effectively.
- 3,784 complaints of harassment of married women or dowry harassment
- 1,679 molestation cases
- 1,276 complaints of police apathy towards women
- 376 complaints of sexual harassment
- 11,782 complaints (highest number) from Uttar Pradesh
- Delhi 2,635
- Haryana 1,266
- Maharashtra 1,188, it added.
Sharma encouraged women to reach out to the NCW whenever they want.
In 2021, she said the commission will continue to work with a commitment to ensure justice and empowerment to even the last woman standing at the periphery and will continue with its endeavours, the report added.