Pune, Apr 26 (PTI) A special cell for women and children jointly set up by two Maharashtra government departments and TISS has said calls about domestic violence, psychological disorders and emotional outbursts have increased during lockdown for the coronavirus outbreak and counselors are dealing with 40-50 cases per day.
A counselor at the Special Cell for Women and Children, a joint initiative of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences and the state government's Department of Women and Child Development and Home Department, said one of the reasons could be that men are not used to staying at home this way and, as a result, women may not be getting their 'household space'.
'In normal circumstances, the woman, who may be a housewife, gets her own space after her husband or other male members leave for work. But now (lockdown), every one is at home and she may feel drained due to the work,' said Vaishali Ranade, a senior counselor at the cell.
'Male members may not be used to staying at home all day this way. Moreover, they may feel irritated if they have addictions like cigarettes or liquor etc as these are now unavailable,' she said.
These reasons, plus issues like insecurity, financial instability, lowered confidence levels may be adding to frustration levels, leading to wives or women members in the household bearing the brunt, Ranade explained.
'A 27-year-old woman recently called stating that her husband was beating her up for petty reasons. She and her children were outside for several hours before calling the special cell. We gave her emotional support and then called up the police which dealt with the man,' she said.
In another case, a woman with a little child called stating that none of the six male members helped in household chores despite being at home due to the lockdown.
'When the woman protested, her husband assaulted her and not she doesn't want to live in that house. We are also getting calls that suggest there is an increase in demand for sex and women, being tired after all the household work, are unable to cope which is leading to conflict,' she said.
She said a Kanpur man currently stranded in the city had also called, stating he had suicidal tendencies, and he was asked to call 'iCall', a psychological helpline run by Tata Institute of Social Sciences. PTI SPK BNM BNM