An article was published by Blavity recently that included a study from The Journal of General Psychology with baffling stats of google searches regarding domestic violence on a global level.
Later on, when debates started happening around the same, the author of the study admitted to “inaccuracies and shortcomings” in her research pertaining to the statistics.
But The Question Remains
Do we really need numbers to augment the helpless truth behind the situation? Are we so oblivious to what’s happening? Are we digressing from the severity?
It’s not the stats but the situation that is to be addressed.
Domestic violence very much exists, and whether the stats are correct or not, the terrible condition of women being victims of domestic abuse is of utmost significance.
Violence behind closed doors has been on a hike day by day, year by year, and the pandemic has nothing but augmented the audacity of the perpetrators.
According to experts, social and economic pressure have been the leading causes of domestic violence cases throughout 2020.
Pre-pandemic saw a rise in women in the workforce compared to the earlier situations, but all of this came to a screeching halt pertaining to the lockdowns and the world coming to a standstill.
With nowhere to go and ultimately nowhere to hide, women have been forced to confront their offenders (generally their spouses). This prison has incited an increase in domestic violence cases.
2020 witnessed 1 in every 3 women being on the receiving end on a global level, according to the World Health Organization.
The Heightened Risk
Furthermore, young women have been more at risk than the rest of the age groups. It is not to say, more at risk does not imply the safety of the latter. Instead, the severity of the former.
“Violence against women is endemic in every country and culture, causing harm to millions of women and their families, and has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.
The bitter truth remains. Unlike the virus, no vaccine has been devised to fight the violence inside 4 walls as of yet. It’s a deterrent that seems to be omnipresent.
Further adding to his comment, the director lamented, “We can only fight it with deep-rooted and sustained efforts – by governments, communities, and individuals – to change harmful attitudes, improve access to opportunities and services for women and girls, and foster healthy and mutually respectful relationships.”
The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, in April 2020, did warn us about the potential increase in the rate of domestic violence cases due to the mandatory lockdowns and the precautionary measures taken to curb the infections (stay-at-home rule).
What’s the saddest and possibly the worst that could ever happen is that the arena where one should be safe and far from any potential harm is the most uncertain.
The unsafe environment women encounter at home is no joke. We can’t possibly imagine the trauma, the horrifying situation, and the risks they have been facing 24×7.
How Far Can The Government Help?
Government officials have been providing necessary measures and undertaking the crucial steps towards redressing domestic violence against women as a key factor in their national response plans for COVID-19.
But the government can’t possibly get inside of our houses and help. We have to take charge at some point as well!
That being said, in case you suspect a case of domestic violence around you, or are yourself a victim and have come this far, do not hesitate. I repeat, do not hesitate!
Domestic violence hotlines are at your disposal. They provide emergency support and referral services over the phone to those in volatile relationships.
Hotlines are generally dedicated to women escaping abusive relationships and provide referrals to women’s shelters.
It’s better to address your doubts and report than to dismiss them and live with the guilt.
As for India, domestic violence against women is a serious problem. Overall, one-third of women age 15-49 have experienced physical violence, and about 1 in 10 have experienced sexual violence.
In total, 35 percent have experienced physical or sexual violence. And this percentage is way too severe to be ignored.
Looking At The False Stats
The report stated that between March and August 2020, “How to hit a woman so no one knows” was searched 163 million times on Google.
But to think of the fact that a lot more people execute without typing away or surfing for new ways. That is to say, this “163 million” whether right or wrong, is nothing if the actual scenario is considered. How horrifying!
Millions of people of questionable character seem to be doing some very specific research on ways to assault women around them.
The research added, “I am going to kill her when she gets home” was looked up 178 million times (seems like the woman went to procure the resources for the family), and “how to control your woman” was searched 165 million times (cause patriarchy and toxic ego).
“Help me, he won’t leave” and “He beats me up all the time” were also both searched.
Now we know for a fact that the stats were wrong. So what? What about it? The severity of the situation cannot be dismissed just because the stats were falsely claimed.
That being said, of course, the gender of the perpetrators is not to be assumed. It could be any gender. But the one on the receiving end is, for sure, a woman!
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