Resource: Surviving a ‘Shadow’ Pandemic: Domestic Abuse in the Time of COVID-19

Girija Godbole, Surviving a ‘Shadow’ Pandemic: Domestic Abuse in the Time of COVID-19,  Talking Policy, Centre for Policy Studies, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, 29 April 2020, http://www.cps.iitb.ac.in/surviving-a-shadow-pandemic-domestic-abuse-in-the-time-of-covid-19/.

Excerpt: ‘According to Rajgopalan (personal communication, 7 April, 2020), creating good, safe shelters and improving helpline services is crucial. At a more individual level, Kirdat (personal communication, 8 April, 2020) of Purush Uvach, appeals to men to break the ‘traditional’ image and to get physically involved in household chores, which may also help them to channel the anxiety of future uncertainties and fight the temptation to resort to violence at the slightest provocation. In Sarubai’s opinion (personal communication, 16 April, 2020), assured free supply of food grains or reasonable monetary assistance by the State to needy families who have lost their source of income will ease the burden and help in reducing the violence.    

Well-funded and robust support services for domestic violence survivors, including psychological care and economic resources, are crucial. However, interventions cannot be limited only to dealing with abuse. As has been discussed, while lockdown may escalate already existing incidents of violence, it may also result in new incidents. The causes of gender-based and sexual violence must be disrupted by fighting the framework of patriarchal values.