Lockdown sees spurt in domestic violence cases in Telangana

72% of complaints at Sakhi One Stop Centres pertains to harassment

Updated - November 28, 2021 12:06 pm IST

Published - May 12, 2020 07:02 pm IST - Hyderabad

When the government and people in general are grappling with the pandemic and leading a life under lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus since the last week of March, many women in the State, ironically, had to face a spike in domestic violence too.

Of a total of 8,410 complaints registered at Sakhi One Stop Centres across the 33 districts in 2019-20, 5,703 were related to domestic violence and 384 to dowry harassment, accounting for 72% of the total number of complaints to OSCs.

The past one month, despite lockdown, had not seen much of letup in domestic violence cases.

In April, 89% of the total number of cases registered were of domestic violence.

Current research

The numbers would support the current research world-wide about the increased risk of violence within the home because of the lockdown, said Prof U Vindhya, Sakhi OSC Project Leader and Deputy Director, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Hyderabad campus.

The One Stop Centres provide integrated support and assistance to women affected by violence, both in private and public spaces, and provide access to medical, legal and psychosocial counselling and shelter services.

For instance, from January 1 to April 23, the percentage of domestic violence cases out of the total cases registered with OSCs were 40% in January, 68% in February, 61% in March and jumped to 89% in April.

According to the annual report for 2019-20 on One Stop Centres in Telangana , of the 8,410 cases registered in the State, the highest number of cases were registered in Medchal-Malkajgiri district (1,193), followed by Rangareddy (894) and Hyderabad (614), pointing to the largest concentration of reported cases in urban clusters.

Then come Karimnagar, Nizamabad, Nalgonda, Warangal urban, Jagityal et al.

The Sakhi OSCs are a Central government initiative for women’s safety in the aftermath of the horrific Nirbhaya incident and the subsequent recommendations by the Justice Verma Committee and Usha Mehra Commission in 2013.

In Telangana, the One Stop Centres were set up in 2017 first in the erstwhile nine districts and subsequently in all the 33 districts by the Department of Women Development and Child Welfare (DWDCW).

The department roped in the School of Gender Studies, TISS, in 2017 as knowledge partner for the Sakhi OSCs Project and TISS set up a Project Management Unit in April that year in the Directorate of DWDCW. Various NGOs were selected as support agencies and they recruit and supervise OSC staff to work on rotational shifts providing round-the-clock services.

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