Domestic violence is terrorism at home. It is a crime against a person.
Although the woman of the 21st century has met numerous challenges successfully still a quest is waiting for her and that is the battle of violence against her. The situation worsens when the violence starts at home and scholars call it family violence or domestic violence. International human rights laws are made to aid human rights and domestic violence is a clear violation of human rights. International human rights law is based on gender equality. The UN Declaration on the Elimination of violence against women states that the violence against this weak group of society is a disclosure of unequivalent powers of men in society and violence is an ancient gadget through which women can be made inferior to men.
The outbreak of COVID 19 has intensified the prevalence and ratio of domestic violence all over the world. Governmental institutions and health workers suggest that lockdown is a preventive measure for this epidemic. Women are stuck at home with their perpetrators which makes them easy prey. Due to social distancing women have become more vulnerable because they are disconnected from their relatives and friends and that’s what the perpetrator wants to initiate violence. The World Health Organization (WHO) describes this offence as a deliberate and designed plan through which a husband or an intimate partner threat or harms his prey, which may result in physical or mental injury. There are different forms of injuries that a woman sustains and is bound to tolerate because she is financially dependent on the perpetrator. These injuries can be in the form of physical, emotional and psychological injuries and sometimes they can be inflicted in the form of sexual violence. It can be said that domestic violence affects a woman as a mother as well as a person in society. The effects can be serious and immediate but sometimes it appears after a longer period. These effects can be physical, physiological and emotional. Following are some of the effects which brutally influence the personality of a woman. Physical effects may include bruises, cuts, fractures or dislocated bones, burn marks or fresh wounds, nail scratch marks, internal bleeding, miscarriage or abortion, pale skin and anaemia. Psychological effects may include anxiety, depression, gastrointestinal disorders due to stress, use of liquor, maltreatment of children, development of the attitude of gender inequality, urge to have extramarital affair, lack of efficiency in work from home situation, lack of interest in household activities, poor hygiene and suicide in extreme cases. Similarly, emotional effects may include nightmares, scary and horrified storms of thoughts, cold sweats, use of intoxicating material, panic attacks, feelings of shame, hatred, enmity, fear or rage against intimate partner or spouse.
As a result of lockdown and social distancing, the household work on a woman has also been expanded. She needs to give attention not only to the household chores but also to the children whose schools have been shut down under the government policy and to the family members who are infected with this disease. On the other side, the perpetrator is also facing financial meltdown, loss of a job or short term loss of earnings which ultimately boost the feeling of rage, hatred and wrath. These feelings persuade him to design the plan of violence. This offence is a veiled threat to all societies of the world. It can be found in any group or class of society. It prevails in all religions and all communities and states. There is no doubt that the rate of domestic violence especially the spousal violence during the COVID 19 has been increased but on the other hand, this crime is still under-reported. People still believe that it is against the dignity and respect of a family that a woman reports the husband’s violent behaviour. They believe that it is a household matter which should be resolved among families and not in the court of law. In this way, the innocent and vulnerable minds of women are trained to conceal the painful situations and beating incidences
The writer FATIMA RIZVI is an LLM from Punjab University. She is a Motivational Speaker and a Human Rights Activist. She is a High Court Lawyer and currently working in Lahore Leads University. She has appeared on different talk shows as a law expert.
Posted by : D shahwar