4700 women, children abused in families during April lockdown
93 percent of the child victims were abused by their parents and relatives
During the ongoing lockdown in the country, 4,249 women and 456 children became victims to domestic violence in the last one month, says ManusherJonno Foundation – a local rights body.
Of them, 1,672 women and 424 children were abused for the first time in their families, according to the non-government organisation.
Moreover, 93 percent of the child victims were abused by their parents and relatives.
Manusher Jonno Foundation revealed this information at an online press conference on Wednesday during presenting a telephone survey on the domestic abuse scenario at its working areas in 27 districts.
While addressing the conference, Shaheen Anam, executive director of the organisation, said collecting information about domestic violence from women and children by telephones during the lockdown was really challenging and difficult.
According to the survey, 848 women were physically abused by their husbands, 2,008 mentally abused, 85 sexually abused and 1,308 were financially abused.
Apart from that, four women were raped, one was killed and 20 others were sexually harassed.
Out of the 424 first-time domestic violence cases among children, 33 were child marriages, four rape incidents, 16 attempted rape cases, two abduction cases, 10 sexual harassment cases and 10 were rape cases while receiving relief. The rest were victims of other forms of violence.
The foundation collected these statistics from its working areas over mobile phones to comprehend the situations of women and children while staying in domestic settings due to the lockdown.
Through 24 affiliates under two projects, it contacted 17,203 women and children in 602 villages and four city corporations in 58 upazilas of 27 districts.
The survey also came up with several recommendations to mitigate the sufferings of the abused women and children.
They include:(i) making national emergency helplines (Stopping Violence Against Women – 109 and Police helpline – 999) more effective, (ii) arranging government shelters during the lockdown period for the victims who are forced out of homes, and (iii) enacting a "virtual court ordinance" by the president to accelerate the arrest and prosecution of perpetrators.
Shahana Hooda, senior media coordinator of Manusher Jonno Foundation, conducted the press conference. Members of the affiliated organisations were also present online during that time.