Surge in domestic violence complaints since lockdown

1,576 distress calls received by the cops from April 1 to June 30

Surge in domestic violence complaints since lockdown

There has been a surge in complaints of domestic violence received by the police during the lockdown period.

Minna Zutshi

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 11

There has been a surge in complaints of domestic violence received by the police during the lockdown period. As many as 1,576 distress calls/complaints were received by the cops from April 1 till June 30.

In the pre-lockdown period (from January to March), only 867 complaints were received.

Though 80 per cent of the complainants were women, 20 per cent were men who complained against the “uncalled for interference” by their in-laws.

“Not that there were no issues earlier in the pre-lockdown period. It was only that during the lockdown, buried issues surfaced,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police Akhil Chaudhary.

With its concomitant fears, insecurities and lack of social contact, the lockdown provided a simmering ground for the problems to manifest, he added.

Dr Sarabjeet Singh, director, University Counselling and Placement Guidance Cell, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, said the lockdown aggravated the already-present problems.

“The weakened family fabric could not further withstand the pressures of the pandemic,” he said.

“During the lockdown, the additional financial strain coupled with the financial insecurity and the fear of contracting Covid-19 compounded the problem,” he added.

Sharing information from his recent counselling experiences, Dr Singh said he suggested ‘writing therapy’ to a senior citizen who was facing mental turmoil due to the inflammatory family environment.

“As the senior citizen was repeatedly rejecting all suggested solutions, I told him to start the ‘writing therapy’. He had to follow a protocol – write two pages of ‘Japji Sahib’ every day and while writing he had to recite it. And most importantly, he had to keep smiling while doing this exercise,” said Dr Singh.

In many cases, reinterpretation of the complainant’s narrative helped in finding a solution, said Dr Singh. “Problems may seem huge and insurmountable, but once we talk about them, they seem less overwhelming. Counselling experts can reinterpret the problems to make them less threatening and more manageable,” he said.

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