Celebrities like Virat Kohli, Anushka Sharma, Madhuri Dixit, Dia Mirza and Vidya Balan among others have joined hands to support an initiative #lockdownOnDomesticViolence, exressing concern over the global surge in cases of domestic violence amid the ongoing coronavirus lockdown.
Under the initiative, a video is made in which celebs are seen urging people to stand up and fight for themselves by reporting the abuse. In a 58-second video titled Lockdown On Domestic Violence, the celebs have urged citizens to fight and raise their voice against the brutality taking place in their houses. The initiative is spearheaded by the Akshara Centre along with the Special Cell for Women and Children and supported by the Police and the Government of Maharashtra.
“Let’s put a lockdown on domestic violence…if you are a survivor of domestic violence, report it. It’s the time to stand up and break the silence. If you are a witness to domestic violence …please report,” the stars said in the video.
Cricketer Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, actors Rahul Bose and filmmaker Karan Johar have also featured in the video.
The initiative is curated by Akshara Centre in collaboration with Special Cell for Women and Children.
While one-fourth of the world’s population is under home-quarantine to contain the spread of the novel COVID19 pandemic, another crisis is brewing behind closed doors—domestic violence.
Research shows that in emergencies be it conflicts, economic crisis or during disease outbreaks, there has been a repeat pattern of increase in domestic abuse, therefore abusers and their partners having to self-isolate together at home may lead to a rise in new and pre-existing abusive behaviour and violence.
The warning signs were first shown in China where domestic violence reports more than tripled. A similar pattern was reported in Singapore (33% increase), Australia (40% increase), Brazil (40% increase), and India (100% increase). With the spread of the pandemic to Europe, there is a surge in the “shadow pandemic” (as UN termed domestic violence) as reported by Italy (13.6% increase), Spain (18% increase), France (30% increase), and Cyprus (30% increase). The UK reported an increase of 25% and the USA reported upto 35% increase in cases.