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Journal Article

Citation

Nair VS, Banerjee D. Front. Glob. Womens Health 2021; 2: e614310.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2021, Frontiers Media)

DOI

10.3389/fgwh.2021.614310

PMID

34816184

PMCID

PMC8594051

Abstract

The ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has been a social "un-equalizer," besides being a global health threat. Gender inequality has been globally prominent during the outbreak and the consequent lockdown. Although domestic abuse and intimate partner violence have increased due to chronic entrapment, overcrowding in families, enhanced substance use, distorted relationship dynamics, travel restrictions, and reduced healthcare access, coercive sexual practices have also been on the rise. In low- and middle-income countries, the lack of awareness, societal pressure, administrative apathy, fear of legal hassles, and inadequate knowledge-attitude-practice related to help-seeking lead to underreporting and mismanagement of domestic abuse, which can perpetuate its vicious cycle during the ongoing crisis. India, with its socio-culturally diverse population, has been one of the nations worst hit by the pandemic. With the rise in reports of gender-based violence on the premise of preexisting gender inequality and minority stress, concerns behind "closed doors" are as threatening as the infection itself. With this background, the authors highlight the backdrop of domestic violence as a "hidden pandemic" during the coronavirus disease 2019 crisis, drawing on perspectives from India and briefly reviewing the data from other nations. The role of mental health education and digital literacy as mitigating strategies is subsequently discussed.


Language: en

Keywords

COVID-19; intimate partner violence; women; pandemic; domestic abuse

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