In April this year, a helpline in United Kingdom for perpetrators of domestic abuse, who were seeking help to change their behaviour, had received 25% more calls as the Covid-19 lockdown continued.
The Respect phone line, which provides confidential advice to perpetrators about violence and domestic abuse, had a 26.86% increase in calls in the week starting March 30, compared with the week before. The helpline website recorded an increase in hits of 125% in the same period.
The Men’s Advice Line, for male victims of domestic abuse, which is also run by the charity Respect, had an increase in calls of 16.6% in the same week, while the advice line website registered an increase in traffic of 42%.
As per the latest report published by BBC, charities dealing with men who suffer domestic abuse have seen pleas for help jump by up to 60% during the lockdown. The Respect Men’s Advice Line said some victims had told them they had sought refuge by sleeping in cars or in tents in the gardens of friends or relatives.
The charity said it had received:
- 13,812 calls and emails between April and July in lockdown
- Compared to 8,648 in the same period in 2019
Respect’s Ippo Panteloudakis told BBC that the pandemic had made the problem worse. He said,
It was absolutely clear the lockdown period exacerbated everyone’s domestic abuse experiences. They were talking about increases in violence, increases in psychological abuse and becoming homeless as a result of the domestic abuse and not having anywhere to go.
Adding further Ippo quoted:
We had reports from men sleeping in their cars overnight or sleeping in their friends’ or parents’ gardens in tents.
The advice line said the biggest increase in contact with abuse victims came through emails and the service saw the volume increase by 96%;
- from 372 emails in June 2019
- to 728 emails in June 2020
On average it received 22 emails a day and 92 phone calls as the lockdown took hold from April to June.
Bradford-based charity Men Standing Up takes male domestic abuse referrals from across the country. It started up six years ago and has dealt with more than 4,000 cases.
While UK and some other countries do recognise Domestic Violence on Men, India yet does not even have a commission for this gender. We do not get any official data on the domestic violence cases against men, thereby, constantly driving the narrative how women in India are the only oppressed gender.
Comparison of Numbers cannot be the criteria or justification of not reporting crimes against either sex. Men in India also do not have any government of official agency to help them deal with family problems. Result of the same can be seen in the latest NCRB Suicide Report 2019 where male suicides account for 98,000 annually Vs that of female suicides which are pegged at 41,000. Top reason for reason has been attributed to family disputes.
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