Domestic Abuse

 DOMESTIC ABUSE-The epitome of power and control over a women during COVID-19

Safura Amin

 It is a tough time for people around the world as we are suffering from a pandemic but it is tragic for women’s around the world as they are facing domestic abuse. Self-quarantining and social distancing are leading towards violence, abuse and aggression in homes. During these months, with many businesses closed, some victims are stuck at home with their abuser. Government has advised people to stay at home to avoid getting or spreading the novel coronavirus,  but there are many women’s who are worried about  staying at home, as it is not a safe or a happy place for them.Different women narrated there miserable experience during this Lockdown due to pandemic Coronavirus. Maroofa  from  lal Bazer  called us and told he is tracking her more closely and keeping a watch on her. She pointed to the inability to see friends and family who might normally offer support and thusless the financial or emotional burden.Shafqat from Arampora told us he was abusing her emotionally, psychologically, financially, but due to lock down it has led to physical violence.Afshana from budgam said she expected that there will be an outbreak; her ex-girlfriend kept calling him and led to difference between them and which lead to physical abuse to kids as a reply to the questioning by wife.The condition is worst in Kashmir as we don’t have shelters home. Women facing violence are unable to escape their situations due to lack of facilities.  Not every family in our society supports their daughter to live alone and escape the abuser. Women are expected to live in oppressive set ups to save the honour of the family and also because women are financially dependent on their family and abuser. As a lawyer there are many cases which come to us but as courts non availability leads to worst situation and no shelter home in Kashmir adds more to this.  The courts will also see another type of case as a prolonged period of time where people are out of their routines and stuck at home with each other will exacerbate marital difficulties that may lead to increase in divorces. Unemployment will lead to increases in domestic violence .Domestic violence is also deadly, more so now with abusers finding themselves frustrated and at home far more than normal.Tabasum told she was the first to lose his job and suffered the most from economic problems. Low-income in families make it impossible to meet their most basic needs. She told us that her husband keeps fighting with her on the notion she spends a lot and not realizing the economic crunch of the family which ultimately lead to beating and violence  in their home.  Even if partners aren’t living together, the abusive patterns can still persist. For example, Nahida says her abuser tried to convince her to still see in spite of social distancing requirements.  He use to send her Pressuring messages like, “If you really loved me, then you have come over” or “I haven’t been exposed and am not sick, so why won’t you hang out with me?” in this way van abuser is trying to exert control, at the risk of both partners’ health. The situation went worst when he told her that if you don’t meet me I will upload the victim’s pictures on internet.   Isolation period can trigger flashbacks for survivors of domestic violence, too. “A trigger is something that elicits a certain reaction from us when we emotionally—or even physically—re-experience something in our lives,” Sana from Nowpora says she faced an abusive relationship long in the past; this isolation brings her back to that traumatic time Victims are more alone and vulnerable than before. Someone in an abusive relationship feeling even more emotionally dependent on an abusive partner and less likely to reach out for help. The more time that goes on, someone trapped in an unhealthy relationship can lose confidence in their ability to reach out to friends and family for helpMoreover, the very institutions designed to protect victims of abuse and violence—courts, social service agencies, and law enforcement—are themselves shutting down or cutting back while they struggle to determine how to implement social distancing and fight the pandemic. There’s a serious risk that they will operate at significantly reduced capacity at a time when the need for their services is greater than ever so it eventually lead a responsibility on every human to help, protect and report violence of any kind in society.There are enormous opportunities now for us as a responsible citizen to do better in the wake of this crisis and help each other. During this crisis it’s vital that we all look out for each other, and those experiencing domestic violence are on the list of our most vulnerable it’s important for victims to know that they’re not alone, and there is hope. Talk to someone and don’t be ashamed to ask for help. Whether it’s a neighbour, colleague, or family member, it’s important to have the support needed to get to safety.I want to conclude by saying if you have opportunity be a responsible citizen and help each other during this crisis. By- Safura Amin(The author is a practising advocate at J&K High Court, Madras High Court and can be reached at )