One caller to a domestic violence hotline reported that her husband threatened to throw her out into the street if she coughed. Another reported they had been strangled by their partner, but feared going to the hospital because of the threat of coronavirus. An immunocompromised man from Pennsylvania called in after his emotionally abusive girlfriend began hiding cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer from him.
Activists worldwide have reported an alarming rise in domestic violence cases since the start of coronavirus-related quarantines. In Wuhan in February, while the province was under strict lockdown, one police station, reported a threefold increase in complaints compared with the same period last year.
According to statistics released by the United Nations, reports of domestic violence in France increased 30 percent following the country’s lockdown on March 17; during the first two weeks of lockdowns in Spain, the emergency number for domestic violence received 18 percent more calls; and help lines in Singapore have received 30 percent more calls. As NBC News reported, law enforcement agencies across the U.S. have seen domestic violence cases rise up to 35 percent in recent weeks.
In South Africa, authorities said there were nearly 90,000 reports of violence against women in the first week of a lockdown.
Since the start of the pandemic, the U.N. reports that Lebanon and Malaysia have seen the number of calls to help lines double, compared with the same month last year. In China, the number of calls has tripled, according to the U.N.
In Australia — where the government has promised some $91 million to address the problem as part of its COVID-19 response plan — Google reports a 75% increase in online searches for help with domestic violence.
Meanwhile, in Turkey, activists say the killing of women has risen sharply since a stay-at-home order was issued on March 11.
Via: theguardian.com; bbc.com