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The human race has been through a lot to get where they are now, from Hunting and Gathering, we made it to the Post-Industrial society.

Through all the scientific discoveries and inventions, the wars we fought, all the riots and protests against injustice and wrong doings, we overcame hard times and our ancestors got us to the 21st century, we made it till here, but for what cause? Can we really say their struggle was worth it? We are more advanced than ever, but what is the point if we still lack basic morality and values? Where it will take us if we have forgotten how to be human?

RISE IN DOMESTIC ABUSE AS LOCKDOWN IMPOSES

Amidst all the pandemic chaos, a rise in domestic violence is being observed, with everyone in isolation, people are fighting their own battles locked in their own households and no, I am not talking about Pakistan or any other Third World Country, I am talking about United States, the super power. The National Domestic Violence Hotline reports the growing number of calls they have been getting, telling them how perpetrators are using COVID-19 as means to drift them apart from their family and friends. “Abusers are threatening victims to throw them out so they’d get sick, reports Katie Ray Jones, the CEO of National Domestic Violence Hotline.

 

“I spoke to a female caller California who is self-quarantining from COVID-19  due to asthma”, another case reported by Ray Jones, “Her partner strangled her tonight, while talking to her it sounded like she has some serious injuries but she cannot go to the ER due to fear of catching the virus.”

The corona virus is also risking the world economy, which is eventually making it more difficult for the victims to leave abusive relationships

Other countries like China, Pakistan, Germany, Australia have also observed a rise in domestic abuse, France already has one of the highest rates of domestic violence, around 219,000 women are abused, physically and sexually by their partners but only 20% of them are reported. It is a pattern being observed globally. Women and children who live with domestic violence have no escape from their abusers during this quarantine.

DOMESTIC ABUSE, AN ISSUE OVERALL

This isn’t just an issue during a global pandemic, it is a highly concerned matter even when we are going on about with our normal lives but, sadly this is the least discussed matter because, “It’s their personal matter.” My question is how could someone’s oppression and suffering could be just a personal matter? It’s simply enabling the abuser only more and more, it’s your privilege which encourages you to say such things.

Domestic violence is not just physical, its sexual and emotional too and while women and children seem to be the prominent victims, men too are abused by their partners. Men often stay in such relationships because they don’t want to be seen as less masculine and go against the societal status set for a man. Mark Brooks, chairman of the Mankind Initiative, a UK based charity for male victims of domestic abuse, said, “When men do reach out for help, they tend to be looking for validation so that they don’t feel too low about their “masculinity“.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN PAKISTAN AND ITS EFFECTS

Now that we have pinpointed how this matter is dealt with abroad, let’s have a sneak peak at how the most stereotypical society of all deals with this problem. Yes, I am talking about Pakistan, the country which is enlisted as the 4th most worst country for women by The Insider. 90% of women in Pakistan have experienced a form of domestic abuse in their households and 45% of them have been victims of domestic rape. Our community doesn’t want us to discuss this because victims are told to stay patient, that it’s not as bad as you think. Yes, it’s not bad, it’s the worst.

1. EFFECTS ON VICTIM:
Domestic abuse can cause severe illness and death to the victim,

it is the leading cause of death for women aged under 45.

Emotional and psychological trauma – It can emotionally scar a person for life, and deteriorate victim’s mental health.
Leaves a devastating impact which may result in depression, shame anger and suicide.

 

2. EFFECTS ON THE FAMILY:
Threats of violence can destroy the environment and lead to segregation of the family.
Regular household conflict.
Child protection, police involvement.
3. EFFECTS ON CHILDREN:
They grow up without learning about a respectful and positive relationship.
It causes emotional distress and they often feel neglected.
Feel guilty and blame themselves.
They tend to cause a rebellious behavior and project their anger on others.
MEASURES TAKEN BY THE GOVERNMENT:

Sindh enacted its Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Act in 2013, Balochistan passed the similar law in 2014, Punjab passed Protection Of Women Against Violence Act in 2016, and sadly there is no such law for KPK due to push back from the religious authorities. But we don’t often see this laws being implemented.

Domestic abuse is a crime, not a personal matter. Everything goes downhill, it is not only a problem for the victim but everyone else as well. It’s extremely important to create a positive ambiance at your home where everyone is able to communicate with each other in a rather healthy way. An individual should be moral and human enough to not let his family end up in shambles just because he has anger issues. It’s about time that abusers must face the consequences of their actions and victims should be encouraged to come forward without hesitation and the fear of being shamed. Whether we are stuck in a pandemic or not, domestic abuse should never be overlooked or justified for that matter.

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