‘Domestic violence cases on rise in Kashmir amid lockdown’

‘Domestic violence cases on rise in Kashmir amid lockdown’

 

Tabia Masoodi

 

Srinagar, Apr 22: Former chairperson Jammu and Kashmir women’s commission Vasundhra Phatak Masoodi on Wednesday said that she is getting a lot of calls from women in Kashmir complaining about domestic violence amid COVID-19 lockdown.

Talking to news agency KNO, Phatak said that she is getting a lot of distress calls from women in Kashmir complaining about domestic violence against them in one way or the other.

She said that as there is lockdown in the Valley like other parts of the country the women have nowhere to go and they also cannot register their complaints anywhere.

“I try to counsel them over phone. What else can I do for now. It helps a little bit as they feel someone is there to listen to them. But this surely indicates a rise in domestic violence cases in Kashmir,” she said.

There have been many new cases of domestic violence against women in Kashmir but during the lockdown it is quite difficult for them to report these cases.

Shaista (name changed), a teacher by profession said, “As I am a teacher and I have to give lectures online and my in-laws think I am home now and don’t have to do anything else and I should do all the home chores alone. But when I tell them that I have other work to do as well they think I am making excuses. It is causing me mental trauma.”

Many women said “As our husbands and children are home all day now, it is difficult for them to do daily chores and we have to manage everything alone. Our husbands don’t help us with anything instead, if meals or anything is not on time, they get angry and start abusing us.”

They further said that they would usually go to their parents place, meet their friends or talk to them over phone to share their pain which helped them release some stress. “But now they cannot even talk to anyone and they can’t go anywhere due to the lockdown which has compounded their problems and stress as well.”

It is pertinent to mention that after the abrogation of Article 370 and 35 A, J&K women’s commission was also winded up and new commission is yet to be formed which has made matters even worse for women facing domestic violence.

As it has come under the notice of court, a bench of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court comprising of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Rajnesh Oswal have suggested certain measures to help women and ensure their safety during the lockdown. (KNO)