We live in the 21st century, an era where we are arguably safer than ever. However, when it comes to domestic abuse, we’re still in the stone ages. As the saying goes, “My Body, My Rights”. Is this just wishful thinking?
Increased cases of domestic violence have been reported world over. Numbers are likely to be skyrocketing as many women are currently stuck at home with the person abusing them, unable to escape. This might be because women are more likely to lose their jobs due to gender inequality or from working in lower paying jobs which are expendable, and hence, rely on men for economic support. The psychological toll of the pandemic has further resulted in maladaptive coping skills like substance use which are associated with greater aggression.
To make tangible changes, we must educate the masses about unhealthy relationships and signs that a woman is in a difficult living situation. Any Indicators a victim displays could be subtle; out of fear of being abused further for speaking out so we must be attentive. One could ask, if a woman feels comfortable at home, and offer some of their time plus emotional resources while engaging in these conversations. More broadly, policies must be changed to protect women from abusive situations such as criminalising marital rape. Also, the government could fund charities providing counselling services and temporary housing for victims.
Today, ask yourself what you can do to counter domestic violence and make the world a safer place for women.