Due to the presence of coronavirus, some people have argued in favor of shutdowns. Individuals who oppose the relaxation of stay home orders maintain that such orders are saving lives. Additionally, shutdown proponents continue to make the case that confining people to their homes is in everyone’s best interest.
This case lacks both truth and merit. Since the enactment of lockdowns, domestic violence has surged around the globe. Unlike coronavirus, domestic violence is not mild 80% of the time. Moreover, victims of domestic violence do not have a recovery rate that surpasses 90%, unlike individuals who test positive for COVID-19.
Earlier this month, the United Nations warned that if lockdowns persist at their current rate, five million new cases of domestic violence will occur every month. This is serious; however, individuals who favor shutdowns remain largely silent about their enablement of domestic violence.
COVID-19 Shutdowns and Domestic Violence
Ramiz Alakbarov, deputy director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), has cited domestic violence as a “growing crisis” furthered by coronavirus lockdowns. Alakbarov warned that ignorance or silence about the rise in domestic violence will not make the problem go away. Instead, it will only exacerbate the situation.
In the deputy director’s own words:
“It is a growing crisis within the crisis. We need to pay maximum attention to this now. It’s truly disturbing. And if we don’t do anything about it — if we don’t talk about it, if we don’t ring the alarm bell — every three months there will be an additional 15 million cases.”
Lockdowns, and the leaders who are all too happy to instate them, are enabling a culture of domestic violence. Stay home orders not only confine victims in close quarters with their abusers, but these mandates also lessen access to support and services that are ordinarily available.
— mohammad solymani (@msolymani13) April 30, 2020
In additional remarks, the UNFPA deputy director confirmed that “life-saving support and care” is neccessary for victims of domestic violence, even in the wake of COVID-19. This is yet another reason why indefinite shutdowns are problematic. Since lockdowns began, domestic violence has already claimed many lives.
For the purpose of raising awareness, some women have taken to social media and posted images of the abuse they’ve experienced. These images are not for the faint of heart; however, they can be viewed here.