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Lebanon Sees Surge in Domestic Violence amid Quarantine

Lebanon Sees Surge in Domestic Violence amid Quarantine

Friday, 10 April, 2020 - 11:45
Beirut - Caroline Akoum

Quarantine's negative repercussions are starting to affect Lebanese families as the rate of domestic violence increases. This situation is no different in other countries according to the United Nations and the World Health Organization.

The last of these incidents in Lebanon was recorded this week when a Syrian girl who hasn't reached the age of five has died in Tripoli after she was severely beaten by her father, according to NNA.

Lebanese associations and official bodies say that the main reasons for the correlative link between domestic violence and quarantine is that battered women are constantly in the homes in which they are abused, in addition to the economic and psychological stress that quarantine is creating.

Last March, twice as calls were made to Internal Security Forces hotline complaining about domestic violence as compared to the same month last year, after the number of calls made last February increased by 86 percent.

The monthly report issued by Kafa, which deals with domestic violence cases, states that during the month of quarantine, we received 75 calls from women who had been calling the organization for the first time, 55 of them asked for social assistance.

The organization also said most of the calls were made by women who were contacting the organization for the first time and reported the abuse immediately after it had taken place.

The organization believes that' numbers and figures do not necessarily reflect the reality of the situation of women during the quarantine period. The difficulty of calling and seeking help while the abuser is in the home, especially when the house is small, is substantial and so is fear.

The organization gives the example of a woman who called for from her neighbor’s house because she could not call from her house with the abuser present. They also noticed an increase in the number of written messages sent through social media, especially Facebook.

In a campaign in launched last week in collaboration with the General Directorate of Internal Security Forces, the National Commission for Lebanese Women pointed out that “in light of the quarantine that has been imposed by the Lebanese government to limit the spread of the coronavirus, the issue of violence against women and girls has returned to the fore, as the constant presence of abused women in homes with family members puts them at greater risk of domestic violence.

The increase in the rate of domestic violence against women and girls in Lebanon, which may be the lowest in the Arab world, is part of a global phenomenon, with the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres calling for the protection of women and girls from domestic violence amid reports of increased crates during the quarantine period.

The World Health Organization also called for measures aimed at reducing the "spousal violence" emerging as a result of the quarantine.

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