Meghana Chandra writes on women in abusive relationships, who are at greater risk of being a victim of violence during the lockdown days

As the threat posed by Covid-19 increases, people are being encouraged to isolate themselves to avoid contracting the virus. For many families and couples, the most challenging issues they face involve staying healthy and keeping their children occupied. But for survivors of domestic violence, the danger increases with isolation and social distancing.

By virtue of doing research on domestic violence and different forms of abuse, as a part of Shakti project, which is developed with the help of the University of Chicago and the Tata Centre for Development at the University of Chicago, we have gained considerable knowledge on barriers faced by survivors of such violence in accessing legal and public health resources and how lack of awareness leads them to believe in inaccurate or biased information.

In the time of Covid-19, when mobility is restricted, women, who are forced to stay in abusive relationships, are at greater risk of being a victim of violence, as is being reported from different countries.

Taking a leaf from what we have learnt during our interaction with health professionals, counsellors, clinical psychiatrists, lawyers, and gender justice advocates, we are sharing some useful tips on how the potentially vulnerable groups can help themselves in case of distress.

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