CUTTACK: With the Covid-19 pandemic completely altering family and work functioning as lockdowns have forced members of the households to be together for longer periods, an ugly facet of the changed dynamics has become increasingly prominent. Incidents of domestic violence have gone up significantly during lockdowns.
The number of complaints relating to violence at home has increased considerably in Cuttack city, where the police have received 60 such complaints in the last two months. In most such cases, women are the victims.
One such incident was reported from Diwan Bazar within Lalbag police limits on June 22 when a 32-year-old man attacked his wife with a ‘bhujali’ in a fit of rage after a quarrel. The accused, Y Jagannath surrendered before police after committing the crime and his wife, who sustained critical injuries in the assault, is undergoing treatment at SCB Medical College and Hospital.
Jagannath owns a sticker shop and was staying at home due to lockdown. The incident is believed to be the fallout of Jagannath losing his livelihood and sitting idle at home. A senior police officer said number of complaints regarding domestic violence lodged at Mahila police station have gone up during lockdown. While some cases are settled amicably, the others are being looked into by the police.
As per DGP Abhay’s instructions, police are giving priority to cases of domestic violence. “The complainants need not go to police stations for lodging FIRs in such cases during lockdown. The police personnel have been directed to reach out to the complainant after receiving a call,” said the officer.
Stress, loss of income and confined living conditions are believed to exacerbate the risk of violence at home. “Restricted movement and stay-at-home measures to contain the spread of infection have a particularly acute impact on women. The chances of women and children being exposed to violence increases considerably as family members spend more time in close proximity. This results in intensification of household stress and the risk grows even greater when families also have to cope with potential economic or job losses,” opined a city based psychologist.