Lockdown: Gender-Based-Violence and Domestic & Sexual Violence on the Rise
In every pandemic, the sanctity and safety of lives becomes the priority of individuals, families, organisations and government.
It is evident that in almost every nation, several measures have been put in place to curtain and contain the spread of COVID-19.
This has its attendant challenges, particularly pent up emotions which inevitably increases the risk of domestic violence.
There is already an unsettling number of Report on Gender-Based-Violence (GBV) occurring against the backdrop of the COVID-19 outbreak.
It is also becoming increasingly clear that many of the measures deemed necessary to control the spread of the virus, such as the lockdown and restriction of movement, social and physical distancing are not only increasing GBV -related risks and violence against women, girls and even men but are also limiting persons’ ability to distance themselves from their abusers as well as reducing their ability to access external support.
In the last 2 weeks and 3 days, Women Arise for Change Initiative has received via our hotlines several cases of violence against persons from different parts of Lagos and the Nation.
The cases range from battering, assault, sexual harassment, to emotional torture.
For example, we received a distress call from a woman who claimed that since the lockdown, her husband has been sexually abusing her; he has been having sex with her day and night, even up to the point of her losing consciousness.
Another case was that of a male banker who said his wife suddenly became extremely violent and has resulted to slapping and hitting him with hard objects.
Yet another case was a husband who sent his wife and a six-month-old baby out of the house just because she refused to part with her trade money, although we (Women Arise) empowered the family.
The cases have various dimensions, all of them evolving from the necessary and inevitable lockdown.
It is clear from previous epidemics that during pandemics, women, girls children and sometimes men typically take on additional physical and psychological burdens in contrast to normal times.
As such, it is critical that all Stakeholders involved in efforts to respond to COVID-19 across all sectors take GBV and domestic violence into account.
We encourage all stakeholders to facilitate conversations on their platforms and continue to spread the message of hope in the midst of despair.
Let us continue to obey Government’s directives particularly from NCDC and respective state directives.
*STEPS TO TAKE*
- Send your name and address and complaint. Call or Send a text/WhatsApp.
- Send the name and Phone number of the husband/Wife/Victim/ perpetrator.
- Report to your Neighbourhood/ Community Development Associations (CDA), Estate or Street Association Executives. Inform them that you have spoken to Women Arise.
- Send the names and phone numbers of Chairman/ Secretary of CDA.
To report Gender-based violence, domestic & sexual violence, Child Abuse, mental pressure and/or any form of stigmatization, please call our hotlines: 08072690086 or 09069655288