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Shadow Pandemic: Mechanisms to Eradicate Domestic Abuse in times of the Covid-19 pandemic

AUTHOR: TERESA DHAR, STUDENT, CHANAKYA NATIONAL LAW UNIVERSITY, PATNA, INDIA

Abstract Months since the first case of COVID19 was detected, several cases of domestic violence were registered with law enforcement agencies and non-governmental agencies. The number of cases of such domestic abuse towards the vulnerable - be it women or children, have risen considerably over the past few months which is not a coincidence. The short article briefly elaborates the various factors responsible for such violence. The author will briefly explore the global situation before accentuating the present scenario of India in terms of cases in domestic violence and its ramifications. The author shall also argue that Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 – the central legislation specifically for tackling domestic violence, is redundant in times like this where legal help is out of reach and needs to be amended accordingly. The author will elaborate on the socio-legal mechanisms that can be adopted by India specifically - taking the cue of other countries which have been statistically showing an escalation in the domestic violence cases during the lockdown situation, where the governments and the NGOs have come up with exemplary and innovative ideas to assist in the form of protection and counselling, to the victims. India must do the needful and address other underlying issues such as employment, shelter, financial and legal assistance etc. since domestic violence is a pressing issue even in times of normalcy.

Keywords: Pandemic, Domestic violence, India, Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, Socio-legal mechanisms

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