How’s the first day of Circuit Breaker been for you? Was it eventful?
Reader A: I realised my husband has a fit the moment he received an email from his boss
Reader B: I realised my wife doesn’t have much to do at work
Reader C: I beat up my wife because she didn’t speak to me in Doraemon’s voice
Whether it’s—wait, what?
While the above conversation is as fake as an influencer’s TBT, studies have shown that domestic violence occurs more often when families spend more time together, like Christmas or vacations.
And with everyone spending time with no one else except their family members, the United Nations is worried.
Domestic Abuse Might Raise Due to Circuit Breaker Measures
It’s actually not just the Circuit Breaker measures in Singapore, but every lockdown that’s occurred in many countries.
Given that China’s the first country to initiate a lockdown, the best examples come from there.
Other than more people filing for divorces after the lockdown ends, The New York Times also provided an example of how domestic violence has amplified since the lockdown begins.
Over in Anhui province, a couple had a lot more quarrels than usual since they’re both forced to stay at home for weeks.
Although her husband has been abusing the wife for a staggering six years now, the lockdown made things even worse; she related how she’s been hit repeatedly due the time they spent together at home, saying, “During the epidemic, we were unable to go outside, and our conflicts just grew bigger and bigger and more and more frequent…Everything was exposed.”
A Beijing NGO that combatted violence against women has seen a surge in calls since February, and it’s for a good reason.
Another case in point: Spain.
Just like the Beijing NGO, a hotline dedicated to domestic violence has received more than 18% calls for help since a lockdown was imposed. One of them said, “We’ve been getting some very distressing calls, showing us clearly just how intense psychological as well as physical mistreatment can get when people are kept 24 hours a day together within a reduced space.”
And over in France, the police has reported 30% more cases of domestic violence, while in Italy, domestic violence reports came in shortly after the lockdown was imposed.
In other words, it’s the same everywhere.
It’s so bad that the United Nations is urging Governments to “put women’s safety first as they respond to the pandemic.”
3 in 10 Spouses Said They Suffered Domestic Abuse in Singapore
In a poll that was reported last year, it’s revealed that in Singapore, 3 in 10 people here have experienced domestic abuse before, though it should be noted that it’s not domestic violence but domestic abuse.
Also, the definition of abuse is rather subjective: would an insult be considered an abuse?
Nevertheless, when it escalated to violence, it’s time to seek help.
According to AWARE, the first thing you should do is to call for help, either 999 or the AWARE Helpline at 1800 777 5555 (Mon–Fri, 10am – 10pm).
After that, you can check out this website on what to do next.
Stop the virus and the violence, too.
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