No rise in domestic violence cases, says NCW chairperson

Chairperson of the National Commission for Women (NCW) Rekha Sharma denied on Tuesday that there was a spurt in domestic violence in the country.

She said that there was only a rise in reporting of such crimes.

Her response was to a story in The Hindu on a 2.5 times spike in domestic violence complaints registered by the NCW between March 25 and May 31.

“The increase in domestic violence complaints shows a spike in reporting, not necessarily a rise in such incidents or crimes. We started a new WhatsApp helpline number during the lockdown to help women to report, which led to an increase in the number of complaints”, Ms Sharma told The Hindu.

She emphasised that 99% of the complaints received by the NCW were “not new cases”.

“Many survivors who have approached us say they have been experiencing violence at home for past several years. These are not new cases”.

Between March 25 and May 31, the NCW received 1,477 complaints of domestic violence. Nearly 727 of them were received on its WhatsApp helpline (+917217735372 ) set up in April to ensure women, who couldn’t access emails or send complaints by post, could receive help

The total complaints during the 68-day period were 2.5 times of the 607 of complaints received between March and May last year.

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