Rise in Domestic Violence due to Lockdown


In this period of the pandemic, we all are locked in our houses considering our home to be the safest place. In this lockdown we feel safe at our houses, but do everyone feel the same? The answer is NO. Some people are going through the worst situations even in their houses. They are facing ‘domestic violence’. This sounds a big threat. Domestic violence is increasing all over the world day by day and during the lockdown, it is increasing speedily. Not only women suffer through it, men and old age people also are suffering through domestic violence. Domestic violence in simple words is any action in the purpose of gaining power and control over a spouse, partner or any other close family member. According to Adrianna Mello, a Judge specializing in domestic violence, almost 40% to 50% of cases are increased during this quarantine period all over the world. According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), a 20% increase in domestic violence is reported during an average three-month lockdown in all 193 UN member states. Researchers are expecting 15 million more cases of domestic violence for every three months if lockdown keeps extending. These cases are almost getting doubled and tripled in several countries.

Country-wise Data

According to a recent survey by Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF), a human rights organization, at least 4,249 women and 456 children were subjected to domestic violence in 27 out of 64 districts of Bangladesh in April, with 1,672 women and 424 children facing violence for the first time in their lives. In U.S, many cities recorded 15% – 20% more cases in the lockdown period. The Atlanta hospital reported a 15% increase of domestic violence cases in their facilities. Russia reported atleast one-fourth increase in cases of domestic violence in a month during this pandemic.

National Commission for Women in India registered 587 domestic violence complaints which is approximately 45% hike between March 23 to April 16. In the first week March (beginning of lockdown) , France reported 32% rise in rural and suburban areas of the country. By the end of the month, this figure increased to 36%  in Paris. In China, police stations reported nearby tripled number of domestic violence cases during February 2020 as compared to February 2019. According to  statistics, 90% of the causes of these  violence are related to the COVID-19 epidemic, citing quarantine anxiety, economic insecurity and weakened victim support networks as factors.

Cases all over the World

In China, a 26-year-old woman named Lele has gone through a big tragedy being in her own house. On March 1, she was holding her 11-month-old daughter. Arguments started between Lele and her husband about a financial crisis. During this argumentation, her husband started beating her with a chair. Her left leg started bleeding badly but still, she somehow protected her baby and herself. She told her husband abused her many times since their marriage but during lockdown; it was getting worse. Lele then immediately informed the police and also filed a divorce. But because of a pandemic, it postpones her proceedings till April 15. And until she finds an unfamiliar house she has to survive in the same house with an abuser.

In Spain, The New York Times with the women’s associations contacted women who are stucked with their abusive partners. One of them was Ana, who is sharing an apartment with her partner who is abusing her on daily basis. Her partner insists her on total surveillance all the time. He don’t even let her use bathroom alone. She told that her privacy is invaded and she cant survive in such situation for more long.

Mithu aged 48 is from Kolkata, India said over a call to city’s helpline number that  she is being abused by her husband and mother in law. Her husband is a short tempered and foul mouthed man. They blames Mithu for ruining her husband’s  life and keeps abusing her. Nearby police officers reported her house after receiving this call. A 70 year old woman is being tortured by her husband and son for money and food in her own house. In Italy, an activist received a message from a woman who had locked herself in the bathroom to protect herself from her husband who keeps abusing her. She asked for urgent help in this message. On 19th March, Spain recorded a heinous domestic violence case during lockdown. A woman was murdered by her husband in her own house in the presence of their children.

Causes and Effects of Domestic Violence

  • Feeling of inferiority

In this era, women are educated, independent and strong. Some men with low mentality feels jealous about women’s superiority in education or economically. They cant bear this feeling of inferiority and starts abusing women in their house to show that they are superior. This has been a major cause of domestic violence in both rural and urban areas across the globe.

  • Dominant beliefs

Most of the men have blindly believed that women are not equal to men. They have right to control their wives or partner. They can behave with women the way they want. Those people with these beliefs are one of  the most dangerous virus in the society.

  • Situational factors

When a child is grown in the family where abuse has taken place, the child is more likely to commit it in his future. Many women who suffered through violence in their past are also likely to commit violence against their daughter in-law. This cause speaks itself that a child or a victim is affected so badly that they commit such violence in their future.

  • Alcohol or drugs

Consuming alcohol and drugs, one can lose his sound mind and becomes aggressive. Men after consuming liquor becomes violent against their partner and abuses them in physical or sexual form. In this situations gender can be reversed. Yes, women with the habit of consuming alcohol or drugs also abuses their husbands or in-laws.

  • Sexual desires

When sexual desires of some men are not fulfilled by their partners or when women  refuse for having intercourse with their partners, violence enters the scenario. This cause leads to sexual abuse or violence against women in many countries.

Domestic violence directly affects the mental health of women. They are tortured in the way that they find suicide as an option for escape. Physically they have to suffer from various permanent injuries and diseases. Suicidal cases are increasing day by day and the most common reason behind is domestic violence. The most affected member of the family is the child. When a child is grown in a family where violence has become a habit, he is affected mentally and is more likely to commit violence in his future.

Action taken against Domestic Violence

Countries are coming up with new ways to tackle domestic violence during the lockdown period. Italy has launched on app for asking help without making any phone call. France has launched an initiative to help victims by websites and also implemented code words to ask  pharmacy staff  for help. Australia has created a family and domestic violence task force to work with police force for better service.

 National Commission for women, India has relaunched a whats app number for the duration of lockdown on which women can directly ask for help through a message. Also some domestic violence  awareness campaigns have started like ‘bell bajao’ which means ring the bell. Spain have implemented a code word ‘ Mask-19’ which if women says to the pharmacist means she needs help and is suffering through domestic violence. Many countries have came up with new helpline numbers for women and special teams are appointed to look upon domestic violence cases during this lockdown.


‘Stay home Stay safe’ is the slogan during COVID-19  pandemic but there are people who are not safe even at their own houses. Domestic violence is a crime which takes place inside the house by own family members. During lockdown women have to suffer through violence as they are stucked with their abusive partners for all the time. Violence affects women mentally, physically as well as sexually and  may harm women’s health permanently. Sudden actions should be taken against this crime like raising voice or shouting for help so that neighbors can help. Helpline numbers should be used for asking help from authorities. Awareness is necessary about these helpline numbers as many women are unaware of how to use those. Silence may lead to harm in the future, this crime shouldn’t be hidden from society just for the sake of reputation. More helpline numbers or websites should be initiated and should be known to public. Strict and sudden actions are needed against the abusers. There should be free  women’s hostel for the victims of domestic violence so that they don’t have to live with their abusive partners. Houses in doubt of domestic violence should be inspected by the police regularly.


  1. What is domestic violence?

Any action in purpose of gaining power and control over a spouse, partner or any other close family member is called domestic violence.

2. What are the causes of Domestic Violence?

  1. Feeling of inferiority
  2. Dominant beliefs
  3. Situational factors
  4. Alcohol or drugs
  5. Sexual desires

3. What are the effects of Domestic Violence?

  • Mental Trauma
  • Permanent Physical Injuries
  • Child may more likely to commit violence in future.


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