Domestic violence cases are rising in Pakistan during coronavirus lockdown

Former HRCP chief says women and children are vulnerable at home during the crises


Domestic violence cases are on the rise with the country under partial lockdown due to coronavirus aka COVID-19, according to a report by The News.

In its report, the newspaper spoke to mental health professionals who have been providing online therapy sessions in the wake of the COVID-19 lockdown. According to them, the bigger challenge is that clients are leaving their online sessions unfinished since it’s not easy to carry out sessions at home in fear that someone might see or overhear them.

Read: Humaima Malick opens up about abusive marriage

The News quotes Amna Asif, the CEO of ReliveNow, saying, “Domestic abuse has already been a haunting problem in Pakistan; more cases are surfacing in this time of anxiety and depression for all.”

ReliveNow is providing online session for free during the pandemic crises. One of their therapists, Sarah Shabbir, recounts that one of her clients, who suffers from depression, was slapped twice by her husband last week.

“I am providing her online therapy. But there are issues of privacy, as her husband is home all day,” she told The News. She went on to add that her client’s husband said he acted out because of his own depression from the financial slump they are facing during the lockdown.

Read: Mohsin Abbas Haider accused of domestic violence

Further, Zohra Yousuf, the former chief of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, said that children too are vulnerable during these times. “Not only women but also children are vulnerable in this situation. Cases of parents beating children are not even reported in normal days, let alone amid this crisis,” she said, according to the publication.

Rise in domestic abuse cases is becoming a global issue, with France reporting that domestic violence cases have gone up 30% since the lockdown.

Th French government announced it would put victims of domestic violence in hotel rooms and finance pop-up counselling centres in grocery stores, amid a surge of reported domestic violence cases since the lockdown began on March 17, according to Time.

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