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Slight decline in domestic violence complaints to Haryana Police’s women helpline during lockdown

Police say reduced liquor availability, unwillingness to seek help during lockdown may be among reasons.

Written by Sukhbir Siwach | Chandigarh | Published: May 18, 2020 2:21:58 pm
Slight decline in domestic violence complaints to Haryana Police’s women helpline during lockdown During the lockdown period, the women helpline ‘1091’ received 5,935 calls from March 25 to May 13 in comparison to 6,060 calls in last year’s corresponding period.
(Representational)

Data procured in connection with the women helpline number of Haryana Police has shown a slight decline in domestic violence complaints. Police officials dealing with such cases believe that reduced availability of liquor during the lockdown period might be one among the factors contributing to the same.

During the lockdown period, the women helpline ‘1091’ received 5,935 calls from March 25 to May 13 in comparison to 6,060 calls in last year’s corresponding period.

“Most domestic disputes are resolved after counseling. Still, as many as 74 FIRs were registered out of 6,060 calls in this period, while during the lockdown as many as 26 FIRs were registered out of 5,935 calls,” Haryana DGP Manoj Yadava told The Indian Express.

Officials believe that the number of FIRs during the lockdown period may increase subsequently because police usually register FIRs after completing its set procedure for such cases.

“In most of the cases, women lodge complaints against their husbands after quarrels at home while few complaints are lodged against the father-in-law too. After receiving a formal complaint, both parties are called for their version. Many times, couples are referred to mediation centres too for counseling,” says Kamal Deep Goyal, SP, Crime Against Women wing.

The police lodge FIR only after both parties fail to resolve the matter despite long deliberations and investigators find enough evidences to lodge a case.

Police officials who monitor such cases say most of the calls they receive come from rural areas and slums, and the complainant women claim assault by drunk husbands.

“Drunkenness is a major factor behind domestic violence in Haryana,” said the DGP. Soon after the lockdown, liquor vends were closed in Haryana with effect from March 27. However, there are allegations that liquor was being supplied even during the lockdown period but police officers believe availability is very less in comparison to usual days. Liquor vends were reopened in Haryana recently.

Yadava believes that more availability of time to talk to each other may have helped couples. “There may also be an unwillingness to take police help during the lockdown period,” he said.

In total, the helpline received 12,060 calls related to crimes against women which includes rape, molestation and stalking, prompting police to lodge 175 FIRs during the lockdown period in Haryana. During the corresponding period in 2019, the women helpline had received 12,986 calls, leading to registration of 587 FIRs of crime against women.

An official of Haryana State Legal Services Authority told The Indian Express that they have received 76 representations for legal aid in connection with cases of domestic violence during the lockdown period.

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