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COVID-19 Attracts Domestic Violence

Written by Graciella Stephanie Ganadhi, Content Writer Intern Project Child Indonesia

COVID-19 is a nightmare for the human race. With everyone advised to stay at home, the pandemic slows down every aspect imaginable in our lives. The economy collapses, social life becomes non-existent, and the only place where people are allowed to gather is the hospital. However, with the rising number of corona patients, the number of victims of domestic violence is also rising.

Everyone is coped up at home, stuck inside without many outlets to channel their stress. Rising economic pressure with almost zero way out adds on to the individual stress, even more so for a family with a lot of mouths to feed. The fathers, the one who provides financial support in indonesian nuclear families, are in a lot of pressure due to the pandemic these days. Often, the pressure translates into various domestic violence against their wives and children.

Wives are expected to be the one taking care of the households and children. During the pandemic, many women have to take the responsibility to be teachers for their children whose school is halted. Besides, they still have to cook, clean, and do chores around the house which take more than 3 hours of their time daily, 4 times more what it takes for men. However, the rising prices of food and daily necessities due to the collapsing economy during the pandemic has made many women unable to take care of their household properly. This resulted in conflicts between husbands and wives, then escalated to violence.

In Indonesia, there are 319 new violence cases reported during the pandemic, two-thirds of it are domestic violence with the wives as victims. In 3 months alone, from March to June, the number of domestic violence victims are already more than half of those reported during 2019. These constantly rising cases made many NGO focuses on women empowerment and protection went into frenzy because there are just so many women that need immediate help, but are hesitant to go forward due to fear of social judgement. Even if they want to file a case against their abuser, usually they are being held back by family members because being a victim of domestic violence is seen as something shameful.

If you are a victim of domestic violence and are trying to seek justice for your case, you can contact various NGO that are willing to help you such as LBH APIK, Komnas Perempuan, and Rifka Annisa. You can also help to spread awareness of domestic violence by joining the 16 Days  of Activism held by the United Nations. The campaign simply asks you to post contents in your social media using contents provided here: https://trello.com/b/2n3wcRVJ/16-days-of-activism-2020 along with the hashtags  #GenerationEquality #orangetheworld #16days and #spreadtheword. Easy, right? Do it and be part of the change, good people!