The world has survived many pandemics throughout human civilisation. Corona Virus or COVID -19 is said to be the dreadful disease and the worst pandemic of all. In India, it is not just creating a health emergency but also a socio-economic problem. Country’s GDP growth became very low and the people are facing many social and economic problems.
The government has been working on inventing the medicine to this harmful virus which has been multiplying and affecting numerous people. The self-quarantine and isolation has been considered to be the temporary solution to fight this virus. The country had declared the mass lockdown since March 24 of this year.
People are supposed to be in their houses with family. This lock down resulted in many adverse effects. This caused appetite loss in many families who depend on the daily wage. Many small scale businesses were closed. This has adversely affected the mental health of many people who started to work from home. Most importantly the domestic violence against the woman has been increased widely.
Domestic violence is a hurtful or a grievance or a threat committed by the one spouse to another. The other spouse has been physically or mentally or even sexually abused. This lockdown leads to the rise of abuse committed to the wives. This is a cruelty committed to women which is defined under section 498 – A of Indian Penal Code. When a woman is forcefully subjected to do things or harassed for the unlawful demands, it is said to be cruelty. This offense is punishable for the term period of three years and also liable to fine.
Domestic violence has been taking part in every family all over the years. It rose abruptly during the lockdown. Not only in India, this problem seems persistent throughout the world. In the six months of lockdown, over 31 million and more cases of domestic violence have been reported all over the world. The social isolation has become the positive space for the abuser where the victim could not reach any help. Living under the same roof with the harasser, the victim feels unsafe to report the harassment she is going through. Especially in country like India, it is very common that the victim of the domestic abuse suffer in silence.
STATISTICS – 2020
The crimes of domestic violence have gradually increased between February and April, which is the starting period of lockdown. The National Commission for Women (NCW) says that the complaints registered on domestic violence in early March are 117 complaints and it has increased to 257 at the end of March.
Every 30% of the married woman is subjected to domestic violence only 2% of them file a report. The 36% of married woman suffers a physical injury like having the burses from the violence. 7% of them have grievous injuries. 1 of 5 women have been a victim of sexual assaults i.e. marital rape by the intimate partners, which is not recognized as an offence in India.
Marriage is a holy bond in which two people finds to live together throughout their entire life. It is not the place where one spouse finds a way to harass the other. Every woman has the right to live with dignity. Under article 21 of the constitution everyone has a right to life and personal liberty which gives right to live with dignity. No woman shall be outraged of her modesty. She should be respected and treated with good behaviours.
In case of Maneka Gandhi V. Union of India, the Supreme Court held that every person has the right to live with dignity under Article 21 of the constitution.
WORK FROM HOME
No woman can be treated badly and deprived them from their basic rights. They cannot be abused or harassed. The COVID -19 situation brought many psychological breakouts in people more than viral infections. Many working women had to do both household works and office works too. Being struck at home, they have to do both the works and manage to take care of the family. With men disrespecting them they will be mentally affected. Many of the women being physically and sexually abused in the lockdown by their husbands make life a very hard task to deal with.
This pandemic has made people to realise how important it is adapt with things at home. It is important that the spouse is to be treated with respect. Wife is not a bin material where her husband can dump all his anger and aggression in it. The domestic violence should be given importance and treated as a prior issue by the government. The measures to be taken by the government should make all the women feel safe and secure and should give them the free space where they can trust, come out and speak about the abuse they are going through. The gender based offenses should not be committed.
 1978 AIR 597, 1978 SCR (2) 621, < https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1766147/>